"These mistakes are better be corrected by a professional editor."

I've talked to two native speakers of English about the correctness of this sentence, one of whom suggested that I remove "are". The other one, however, suggested that the original sentence can be considered correct if it's intended to sound like a threat. I was wondering what others think.

  • 1
    "Are better" sucks. You could say "had better", but that changes the tone somewhat. I think it would be best to drop "better" entirely and say something like "These mistakes should be corrected by a professional editor".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 0:22
  • 3
    The idiom is had better. Always past tense, always have, never be. So, to answer the question, no it is not correct to use a form of be. You had better use both had and better. Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 2:39
  • 1
    The problem is that "...are better be corrected..." mixes up several different ways of saying similar things. You can say "...had better be corrected", "...would be better corrected", "...are better corrected", "...better be corrected" and so on but you have used parts of more than one of those and ended up with two parts of the verb 'to be' in the same phrase.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


Removing the "be" leaves a reasonable sentence, if we assume that "these mistakes" refers to a class of mistakes ("such mistakes") and not to some individual noted errors.

  • Hi. Thanks. So you mean there is a scenario in which ""These mistakes are better be corrected by a professional editor." is correct? I mean what if they do refer to some individual noted errors?
    – Askeladd
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 1:22
  • 3
    No, the original sentence is not proper English in any scenario. If you're talking about some specific set of errors, you're better off with "should be corrected" as @HotLicks noted
    – Jim Mack
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 1:48
  • @JimMack Oops, sorry. Comes of trying to put comments on a question using a tablet. Now I'm using a proper device I'll move it!
    – BoldBen
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 12:32

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