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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #127583: I had better - I would rather
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Idioms | Suggesting [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Although / in spite of / despite - Differences between Like and As - Again/ back - FOR and its use - Do or Make? - Making suggestions
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    I had better - I would rather


    Let's come back to two idioms which are frequently problematic...I'd better et I'd rather.

     

    ➡️ 1) I'D BETTER//  YOU'D  BETTER // he/ she/ it'D BETTER//  we'D BETTER// they'D BETTER:  

    'You would be better off doing this': this expression is a warning (sometimes implying a threat).

    It's used to give advice and orders, including to the person who's speaking (and to oneself!)

     

     

    The full expression is I HAD BETTER; the form is that of a past, yet, the meaning is in the present or future.

    The expression must be followed by an INFINITIVE WITHOUT TO: (verb base)

    - Come on Peter! You'd better get up now, or you'll miss your train.

    * Used in the negative form, you must take a careful look at the word order ! You'd better NOT do. 

    She'd better not cheat  during the test. If she does, she'll be punished.

     

     

     

    ➡️ 2) I ' D  RATHER... / You'D RATHER... :he/ she/ it/ we/ they'D RATHER:

    a)  I'd rather/ he's rather  = I would prefer... expresses a choice, a preference.

    The full expression is I WOULD rather + infinitive without TO.

     

            

     

    The auxiliary WOULD has, of course, consequences when you want to form a question tag:

    - I'm sure you'd rather drink soda than milk, just now, wouldn't you?

     

        

    - Would you rather play games or watch TV? I'd rather have a rest doing nothing.

     

     Notice that if the choice is given between several things or possibilities, 'than' is then used. (It's a former comparative form.) 

                               

    b) I'D RATHER + different subject + verb in the modal preterite; this preterite indicates that the action isn't real:

    it's simply choice, a preference and is often a warning, or even a threat to the subject of the verb.

    - Please, don't go out tonight! To be frank, I'd rather you didn't go out at all.

     

     

     

    Therefore, be careful! Do not use one form for the other, and think of the auxiliary if you must have a question tag! 

    Quite easy, isn't it? Go for the test! 

     



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    English exercise "I had better - I would rather" created by here4u with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from here4u]
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    1. I' at home and have a rest tonight. I'm exhausted!



    2.

    You know, you the car to the garage. A strange noise's coming from the engine.

    3. You her up before 10 o'clock if you don't want her to be grumpy for an hour.



    4. I seeing each other; every time you're with him, you end up in trouble!



    5. 'A beer? oh no, thanks! I' have a large soda. I'm so thirsty. Will you have one with me?



    6. 'Come on, Paul! You if you want to catch your bus. I can't drive you to school today!'



    7. 'Do you want me to close the window? It's chilly!' 'Well! I , you see. I'm terribly hot and need some fresh air!'



    8. ' here with your sister, or come with us?' 'Really, I must stay as I have a lot of homework to do.'



    9. 'Oh dear! You look tired. You go to bed as soon as possible!'



    10. 'As he's going to drive for hours, he'd better drink sparkling water and not beer, ? ' ' You're totally right!'



     

          








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