Giving Advice with “Had Better” and “Would Rather”
Look at the usage instructions in Part 1 below.
Then try the free exercises in Part 2.
Part 1: Giving advice – usage
Giving advice using the phrases “had better” and “would rather” is a very specific and important aspect of advanced English grammar.
Native speakers of English often give advice by using the phrases “had better” and “would rather.”
So, using these phrases shows your examiner that you understand how to give advice in English like a native speaker would.
The phrase “had better” is used to express obligation or to offer strong advice.
The phrase “would rather” is usually used to talk about preferences.
Both phrases are followed by another verb, which must be in the simple present tense.
Look at these examples:
Example 1 – You had better start studying every day if you want to pass your exams.
“Had better” is used in the sentence above to give strong advice.
Notice that the verb “start” is in the simple present tense.
Example 2 – I would rather study at home than in the library.
“Would rather” is used here to state a preference.
You will see that the verb “study” is also in the simple present tense.
Part 2: Giving advice – exercise
Instructions: Complete the following sentences using “had better” or “would rather.”
1) We have a history exam tomorrow.
You _______________ start studying.
2) It’s getting pretty late.
We _______________ be going.
3) I’m flat broke. Can I borrow some money?
Sorry, I _______________ not. I don’t like to lend money to friends.
4) I want to go sky-diving.
You _______________ not. It’s too dangerous.
5) There is a $500 error on our bank statement.
We _______________ look into it.
Giving advice exercise – answers
1) The correct answer is “had better.”
2) The correct answer is “had better.”
3) The correct answer is “would rather.”
4) The correct answer is “had better.”
5) The correct answer is “had better.”