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As in the title, is there any difference between the following sentences?

  • You'd better put your results to another place.
  • You would better put your results to another place.

And, when do I use any of them?

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    Yes, there is a difference. In the idiom you'd better VP, you'd represents you had, and not you would. You can also say you would, but not normally before better, which is the idiom. That's why they don't match. The expansion of the contracted sentence is thus You had better put your results in another place (btw, use in after put with place). Jan 12, 2014 at 19:03
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    @JohnLawler: Exactly. I'd add that the contraction feels a little less formal and hence perhaps a bit less scolding, but that may just be me.
    – Wayne
    Jan 12, 2014 at 19:05
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    Giving unsolicited advice about other's behavior can be interpreted as impolite, depending on context. Jan 12, 2014 at 19:12
  • I think you might want to use "Please move your results to 'there', they will be purged from 'current location' on 'date and time'." Jan 13, 2014 at 1:39

2 Answers 2

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You'd has two meanings, which are you had and you would.1 We use you had with better and you would with rather. You had is usually used for suggestion.

Example: You'd better (you had better) avoid the stalls on the street.

So you'd means you had in your first sentence. Your second sentence is grammatically wrong.


1According to The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Third Edition.

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  • I agree on this one. "You would better" is something grammatically incorrect. When I see "You'd better" i instantly understand it as "You had better" while when I see "You'd rather" i understand it as "You would rather". Oct 31, 2016 at 13:10
  • I wish to ask a question here, that covers this topic. With a negative do we say "I had better not" and "I would rather not", or some other way? Oct 31, 2016 at 13:14
  • @SovereignSun Those are correct, though the contraction is more likely in both cases than the un-contracted form. The un-contracted form is more formal, and you can also use it for emphasis. For example: "You had better not be spoiling your dinner, young man!" or "I would rather not do that." If you have a more specific question, post it!
    – 1006a
    Oct 31, 2016 at 14:32
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the "had" verb should be followed by a past partciple verb.

You had gone wild. (It happened.) You would go wild. (A possibility or suggestion)

Since "put" has the same forms in all tenses, then it's okay to use any.

You had better put your results in another place. (It happened.)

You would better put your results in another place. (A possibility or suggestion.)

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  • Sorry, I don't understand how "You had better put your results..." could be "It happened." Can you read your answer again?
    – user140086
    Oct 31, 2016 at 13:26
  • @Rathony that makes me smile. Strange that is. "You had better put your results in another place." is advice. Notice: "You would better put your results in another place." - "You would rather" Oct 31, 2016 at 13:32

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