Had better (I’d better / you’d better, etc.)
I’d better do something = it is advisable to do it. If I don’t, there will be a problem or danger:
I have to meet Amy in 10 minutes. I’d better go now or I’ll be late.
“Do you think I should take an umbrella?” “Yes, you’d better. It might rain.”
We’d better stop for gas soon. The rank is almost empty.
The negative is I’d better not (= I had better not):
“Are you going out tonight?” “I’d better not. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
You don’t look very well. You’d better not go to work today.
The form is “had better” (usually I’d better / you’d better, etc. , in spoken English):
– I’d better go now = I had better go now.
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)
Had better and should
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 cold. You’d better wear a coat when you go out. (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 only means “it is a goog thing to do.” Compare:
It’s a great movie. You should go and see it. (but no problem if you don’t)
The movie starts at 8:30. You’d better go now, or you’ll be late.
It’s time …
You can say It’s time (for somebody) to do something”
– It’s time to go home. / It’s time for us to go home.
You can also say:
– It’s late. It’s time we went home.
Here we use the past (went), but the meaning is present, not past:
– It’s 10:00 and he’s still in bed. It’s time he got up. (not It’s time he gets up)
It’s time you did something = you should have already done it or started it.
We often use this structure to criticize or to complain:
– It’s time you changed the oil in the car. It hasn’t been changed in a long time.
– The windows are very dirty. I think it’s time they were washed.
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.