amcg
Lv 6
amcg asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 6 months ago

Hello English speakers. I would like to know?

The sentence "I had better do something" describes a present situation. It's recommended to me to do sth.

How can you express a past situation ?

* I would have better have done sth"?

OK, I could say "I should have done sth", but I am curious ^^

Thank you all in advance.

4 Answers

Relevance
  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    "I had better do something" is just a slightly stronger statement of "I should do something" and less strong than "I must do something" and is about equal to "It is important that I do something". The use of "had" in "had better do" is not a true past tense form of to have. I had better luck yesterday.

    Words in English are defined in their context and the same word can have many meanings and phrase variation.

    To consider past tense of "I had better do something", it is easier to consider its meaning and use an appropriate communication.

    I should have done something. I failed to act when I should have. It was important to do something. I stood idle instead of doing something.

    What people studying English do not understand until at advanced level is that all language has the primary purpose to communicate clearly and the grammar and structure are only tools. Idioms and contractions and implied words left out are all extremely common. Understand?

    [Do you] implied.

    Add more-

    "I had better do something" = I ought to do something.

    The word ought is now formal and becoming archaic.

    But, in this case, "I ought to have done something." makes the precise past tense if you prefer. In communication, it "sounds" awkward, but is correct.

    • amcg
      Lv 6
      6 months agoReport

      I have quite understood. Thank you very much.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    "The sentence "I had better do something" describes a present situation. It's recommended to me to do something"

    Err...no. "had better" means that if you don't do something, things will or may happen that you really don't want.

    I had better turn off the gas (so there won't be an explosion if someone with a lit cigarette enters the room)

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    "I should have done sth"

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    I should have done something! (Yes, the last one is correct!)

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.