English Grammar in Use – Unit 35: Had better, It’s time

Part A:

Had better (I’d better / you’d better etc.)
I’d better do something= it is advisable to do it. If I don’t do it, there will be a problem or a danger:
I have to meet Amy in ten minutes. I’d better go now or I’ll be late.
‘Shall I take an umbrella?’ ‘Yes, you’d better. It might rain.’
We’d better stop for petrol soon. The tank is almost empty.
The negative is I’d better not(= I ):
‘The jacket looks good on you. Are you going to buy it?’ ‘I’d better not. It’s too expensive.’
You don’t look very well. You’d better not go out tonight.
Remember that:
The form is ‘had better’ (usually ‘I’d better / you’d better’ etc. in spoken English).
I’d better phone Chris, hadn’t I?
Had is normally past, but the meaning of had better is present or future, not past.
I’d better go to the bank now / tomorrow.
We say ‘I’d better do’ (not to do):
It might rain. We’d better take an umbrella. (not We’d better to take)

Part B:

Had better and
Had better is similar to should, but not exactly the same. We use had better only for a specific situation, not for things in general. You can use should in all types of situations to give an opinion or give advice:
It’s late. You’d better go. / You should go. (a specific situation)
You’re always at home. You should go out more often. (in general- not ‘had better go’)
Also, with had better, there is always a danger or a problem if you don’t follow the advice.
Should means only ‘it is a good thing to do’. Compare:
It’s a great film. You should go and see it. (but no problem if you don’t)
The film starts at 8.30. You’d better go now or you’ll be late.

Part C:

It’s time …
You can say It’s time (for somebody) to … :
It’s time to go home. / It’s time for us to go home.
But you can also say:
It’s late. It’s time we went home.
When we use it’s time+ past (we went / I did / they were etc.), the meaning is present, not past:
It’s time they were here. Why are they so late? (not It’s time they are here)
It’s time somebody did something= they should have already done it or started it. We often use this structure to criticise or to complain:
This situation can’t continue. It’s time you did something about it.
He’s very selfish. It’s time he realised that he isn’t the most important person in the world.
You can also say It’s about time … . This makes the criticism stronger:
Jack is a great talker. But it’s about time he did something instead of just talking.

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