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you ‘had better not’ read it...

Why does ‘not’ in ‘you’d better not go there’ stands separately after ‘had better’ phrase but forms ‘hadn’t’ in the question:’Hadn’t you better go now?’ I see no logic here...

  • August 31, 2004
  • Posted by marta
  • Filed in Grammar

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Perhaps there is some logic to it, but I'd have to sit down and think about it some more. Language isn't always logical, in any case; nor should it be.

Dave August 31, 2004, 3:50am

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Maybe this lack of logic results from sb's mistake or not knowing proper grammar...

marta September 3, 2004, 1:28am

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Ummm...maybe because one means "Don't go" and the other means "Go." Meaning - the two uses have nothing to do with each other.

Jessie September 16, 2004, 2:00pm

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Are you serious?
the reason the had and not are seperate is because they are meant to be.
Had better not - a threat saying that one should not do something if he does not want something to happen to him
Hadn't you - improper grammar "had not you" ????
I suppose it means you should

you should vs. you should not

two different meanings.
you tell me why the not is not next to the had.

Ben September 17, 2004, 8:00pm

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Ben, if your best answer to a grammar question is essentially, "because that's the way it IS, dammit, and if you disagree, then up yours," then maybe you should reconsider posting.

speedwell2 September 19, 2004, 4:13am

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Well in the first 'not' negates the action as in 'not going' 'not walking' while in the second is the negative form of a past tense event. 'To have had' or 'To not have'

I think 'shouldn't you go now?' would be more logical.

Bryan September 22, 2004, 10:20pm

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Yes     No