Had Better vs. Would Better

'Had better' and 'would better' are confused by learners. In this lesson, we will discover which one is correct and when to use them.

"Had Better" vs. "Would Better" in the English grammar

Which one is correct?

'Had better' is the correct phrase. 'Would better' does not exist but it is often confused by learners as subject + would can be contracted into subject + 'd. The same contraction happens with 'had better' and therefore some learners make this mistake.

Had better

'Had better' is counted as a 'semi-modal verb.'
'Had better' is used to show what is the best thing to do. It is mainly used in its contracted form. It is commonly used to give warnings. Have a look:

I'd better get a ticket before it sells out.

You'd better eat before the food is cold.

Would Better

'Would better' does not exist on its own as an individual but if we add the main verb between 'would' and 'better,' we can express advice. Check out the pattern illustrated below:

  • Subject + would + main verb + better + …

Take a look at the following examples:

It would be better for you to stay in bed.

It would be better that he double checks everything.


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