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I am familiar with the expression "had better" to be appropriate when giving advice to someone, but I see other versions as well.

How should I use the following:

  1. You better ...
  2. You are better ...
  3. You had better ...

What do we say when we want to make a recommendation to someone?

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2 Answers 2

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If you are exhorting or mildly threatening someone, you would say "You had better."

"We use had better to refer to the present or the future, to talk about actions we think people should do or which are desirable in a specific situation. The verb form is always had, not have. We normally shorten it to ’d better in informal situations. It is followed by the infinitive without to:

It’s five o’clock. I’d better go now before the traffic gets too bad."

Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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  • Thanks. So we also use a bare infinitive after "has better", yes? And what about those other two ones please?
    – Franky
    Mar 29, 2016 at 5:45
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The formula normally is "You had better go home now". I hold the view that "had" is a subjunctive form, an indicative doesn't make any sense. And "had better" is always followed by a bare infinitive.

But as this "had" is a bit queer there is a tendency to drop "had" and say: You better go home now.

Your variant with "you are" is wrong.

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