English Grammar

English Hospitality

In the little sketch, Icarus says to Luna" we ... better get boing get going before.... According to your correction,"we should" is not a grammatical valid choice, " we had" is the best one BUT "we should "we ought to and "had " are synonymous here ? So why ,can't we employ: we "shoul d" better ? ilker


  • I agree - as well as can be expected.

    It's sometimes better to completely forget about combinations we are accustomed to in our mother tongue, because we tend to think they should be used in the other language as well. Sticking to the native speakers and what idioms and combinations they use and stopping projecting the equivalencies of your mother tongue on the other language is a good approach. "Stop translating from your language to the other language - it seldom works" is what my venerated English teacher used to say.
  • It seems because "should better" is simply not usual in English, but instead "had better" is the English way of saying it. You can say of course "we should go" as well, but "we should better go" is simply not the right way to say it in English. Simirarily, we can say also "to ought to go". I am afraid there is no satisfying explanation, we have to accept it at face value, without really knowing why.

    I think it's partly because "better" has not the adverbaial meaning in this case, like "preferably" .
  • "Should" and "ought to" are synonymous, but "had" is not synonymous with them.

    As Head Gasket says, "had better" is a set phrase, which is similar in meaning (when both words are taken together) to "should" and "ought to".

    However, it is not possible to say "should better".

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