Explanations » B1 Grammar Explanations » Had better… It’s time…
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  • Had better (‘d better)

    Grammar chart explaining the usage of 'had better' for giving advice in English, with examples and meanings listed.

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    We use had better to give strong advice or to tell someone (including ourselves) what to do.

    • I‘d better go home. It’s getting late.
    • You‘d better tell Mum what happened before she finds out. 

    Had better often implies that something negative will happen if something is not done, and it often sounds like a threat or a warning.

    • He‘d better give me my money back, or he’ll be in trouble. 
    • You‘d better behave yourself if you don’t want me to get really angry. 


    The word had is a past verb form, but the expression had better is only used to talk about the immediate future.

    • You‘d better call me soon. I’ll be worried.

    After had better we need to use infinitive without to.

    • I‘d better to take a look. blank
    • I‘d better take a look. blank

    Had better not (‘d better not) is the negative form of had better.

    • You‘d better not say a word about this. 
    • I‘d better not forget. 

    In spoken English, we normally use the short form ‘d better. And in informal speech, people sometimes say just better (without had).

    • You better go home.
    • I better get it right this time. 

    Had better vs should

    We often use should to give advice, to say that something is a good thing. And we use had better to express urgent advice or a warning, with bad consequences if you don’t follow it.

    • You should try the cake. It’s delicious. 
    • He‘d better hurry up or he’ll miss the cake. 

    It’s time

    Grammar chart detailing the structure and usage of 'It's time' with to-infinitive and past simple forms, alongside examples.

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    We can use it’s time + to + infinitive or it’s time for someone + to + infinitive to say that someone should do something now or in the future.

    • It’s time for you to go to the doctor. 
    • It’s time to make a decision. 

    We can also use it’s (about) time + subjectpast simple to say that someone should do something now or in the future.

    • It’s time you went to the doctor. 
    • I really think it’s about time you made a decision. We can’t go on like this any longer.

    Note that we use the past in this form, but we are talking about the future.

    We often use this form to complain or criticise.

    • It’s time you paid me what you owe me.  
    • It’s about time you started looking for a job.