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UNIT 35. Had better it's time

A. 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 a danger:

* I have to meet Ann in ten minutes. I'd better go now or I'll be late.

* 'Shall I take an umbrella?' 'Yes, you'd better. It might rain.'

* We'd better stop for petrol soon. The tank is almost empty.

The negative is I'd better not (= I had better not):

* A: Are you going out tonight?

B: 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.

You can use had better when you warn somebody that they must do something:

* You'd better be on time./You'd better not be late. (or I'll be very angry)

Note that:

The form is 'had better' (usually 'I'd better/you'd better' etc. in spoken English):

* I'd better phone Carol, hadn't I?

Had is a past form, but in this expression the meaning 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')


B. Had better and should

Had better is similar to should (see Unit 33A) but not exactly the same.

We use had better only for a particular situation (not for things in general).

You can use should in all types of situation to give an opinion or to give advice:

* It's cold today. You'd better wear a coat when you go out. (a particular situation)

* I think all drivers should wear seat belts. (in general - not 'had better wear')

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 good thing to do'. Compare.

* It's a great film. You should go and see it. (but no danger, no problem if you don't)

* The film starts at 8.30. You'd better go now or you'll be late.


C. 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 or future, not past:

* It's 10 o'clock 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 done it already or started it'. We often use this structure to criticise or to complain:

* It's time the children were in bed. It's long after their bedtime.

* The windows are very dirty. I think it's time we cleaned them.

You can also say: It's about time.../It's high time... . This makes the criticism stronger:

* Jack is a great talker. But it's about time he did something instead of )'just talking.

* You're very selfish. It's high time you realised that you're not the most important person in the world.


35.1 Complete the sentences. Sometimes you need only one word, sometimes two.

1. a I need some money. I'd better _go_ to the bank.

b John is expecting you to phone him. You --- better do it now.

c 'Shall I leave the window open?' 'No, you'd better --- it.'

d We'd better leave as soon as possible, --- we?

2. a It's time the government --- something about the problem.

b It's time something --- about the problem.

c I think it's about time you --- about me instead of only thinking about



35.2 Read the situations and write sentences with had better. Use the words in brackets.

1. You're going out for a walk with Tom. It might rain. You say to Tom:

(an umbrella) We'd better take an umbrella.

2. Jack has just cut himself. It's quite a bad cut. You say to him:

(a plaster) ---

3. You and Ann plan to go to a restaurant this evening. It's a very popular restaurant. You say to Ann: (reserve) We ---

4. Jill doesn't look very well - not well enough to go to work. You say to her:

(work) ---

5. You received your phone bill four weeks ago but you haven't paid it yet. If you don't pay very soon, you could be in trouble. You say to yourself: (pay)


6. You want to go out but you're expecting an important phone call. You say to your friend: (go out) I ---

7. You and Fiona are going to the theatre. You've missed the bus and you don't want to be late.

You say to Fiona: (a taxi) ---


35.3 Put in had better or should. Sometimes either is possible.

1. I have an appointment in ten minutes. _I'd better_ go now or I'll be late.

2. It's a great film. You _should_ go and see it. You'll really like it.

3. I --- get up early tomorrow. I've got a lot to do.

4. When people are driving, they --- keep their eyes on the road.

5. Thank you for coming to see us. You --- come more often.

6. She'll be upset if we don't invite her to the wedding, so we --- invite her.

7. These biscuits are delicious. You --- try one.

8. I think everybody --- learn a foreign language.


35.4 Read the situations and write sentences with It's time (somebody did something).

1. You think the children should be in bed. It's already 11 o'clock.

_It's time the children were in bed._

2. You haven't had a holiday for a very long time. You need one now.

It's time I ---

3. You're waiting for Mary. She is late. Why isn't she here yet?

It's time she ---

4. You're sitting on a train waiting for it to leave the station. It's already five minutes late.

5. You enjoy having parties. You haven't had one for a long time.

6. The company you work for is badly run. You think there should be some changes.

UNIT 36. Can/Could/Would you ...? etc.

(Requests, offers, permission and invitations)

A. Asking people to do things (requests)

We often use can or could to ask people to do things:

* Can you wait a moment, please? or Could you wait a moment, please?

* Liz, can you do me a favour?

* Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the airport?

* I wonder if you could help me.

Note that we say 'Do you think (you) could ...? (not usually 4can'):

* Do you think you could lend me some money until next week?

We also use will and would to ask people to do things (but can/could are more usual):

* Liz, will you do me a favour?

* Would you please be quiet? I'm trying to concentrate.


B. Asking for things

To ask for something we use Can I have ...? or Could I have ...?:

* (in a shop) Can I have these postcards, please?

* (during a meal) Could I have the salt, please?

May I have ...? is also possible (but less usual):

* May I have these postcards, please?


C. Asking for and giving permission

To ask for permission to do something, we use can, could or may:

* (on the phone) Hello, can I speak to Tom, please?

* 'Could I use your phone?' 'Yes, of course.'

* Do you think I could borrow your bike?

* 'May I come in?' 'Yes, please do.'

To give permission, we use can or may.

* You can use the phone. or You may use the phone.

May is formal and less usual than can or could.


D. Offering to do things To offer to do something, we sometimes use Can I ...?:

* 'Can I get you a cup of coffee?' 'Yes, that would be very nice.'

* 'Can I help you?' 'No, it's all right. I can manage.'

You can also use I'll ... to offer to do things (see Unit 21C):

* You look tired. I'll get you a cup of coffee.


E. Offering and inviting

To offer or to invite we use Would you like ...? (not do you like)

* 'Would you like a cup of coffee?' 'Yes, please.'

* 'Would you like to come to dinner tomorrow evening?' 'Yes, I'd love to.'

I'd like... is a polite way of saying what you want:

* (at a tourist information office) I'd like some information about hotels, please.

* (in a shop) I'd like to try on this jacket, please.


36.1 Read the situations and write questions beginning Can ... or Could ...

1. You're carrying a lot of things. You can't open the door yourself. There's a man standing near the door. You say to him: _Could you open the door, please?_

2. You phone Ann but somebody else answers. Ann isn't there. You want to leave a message for her. You say: ---

3. You are a tourist. You want to go to the station but you don't know where it is. You ask at your hotel. You say: ---

4. You are in a clothes shop. You see some trousers you like and you want to try them on. You say to the shop assistant: ---

5. You have a car. You have to go to the same place as John, who hasn't got a car. You want to give him a lift. You say to John: ---


36.2 Read the situations and write questions beginning Do you think ...

1. You want to borrow your friend's camera. What do you say to him?

Do you think _I could borrow your camera?_

2. You are at a friend's house and you want to use her phone. What do you say?

3. You've written a letter in English. Before you send it, you want an English friend to check it. What do you ask him?

4. You want to leave work early because you have some things to do. What do you ask your boss?

5. The woman in the next room is playing music. It's very loud. You want her to turn it down. What do you say to her?

6. You are phoning the owner of a flat which was advertised in a newspaper. You are interested in the flat and you want to come and see it today. What do you say to the owner?


36.3 What would you say in these situations?

1. John has come to see you in your flat. You offer him something to eat.

YOU: ---

JOHN: No, thank you. I'm not hungry.

2. You need help to change the film in your camera. You ask Ann.

You: Ann, I don't know how to change the film. ---

ANN: Sure. It's easy. All you have to do is this.

3. You're on a train. The woman next to you has finished reading her newspaper. Now you want to have a look at it. You ask her.

YOU: Excuse me ---

WOMAN: Yes, of course. I've finished with it.

4. You're on a bus. You have a seat but an elderly man is standing. You offer him your seat.

YOU: ---

MAN: Oh, that's very kind of you. Thank you very much.

5. You're the passenger in a car. Your friend is driving very fast. You ask her to slow down.

YOU: You're making me very nervous. ---

DRIVER: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise I was going so fast.

6. You've finished your meal in a restaurant and now you want the bill. You ask the waiter:

YOU: ---

WAITER: Right. I'll get it for you now.

7. A friend of yours is interested in one of your books. You invite him to borrow it.

FRIEND: This book looks very interesting.

YOU: Yes, it's very good. ---

UNIT 37. If I do ... and If I did ...

A. Compare these examples:

(1) Sue has lost her watch. She thinks it may be at Ann's house.

SUE: I think I left my watch at your house. Have you seen it?

ANN: No, but I'll have a took when I get home. If I find it, I'll tell you.

In this example, Ann feels there is a real possibility that she will find the watch. So she says:

If I find ..., I'll ....

(2) Ann says: If I found a wallet in the street, I'd take it to the police.

This is a different type of situation. Here, Ann is not thinking about a real possibility; she is imagining the situation and doesn't expect to find a wallet in the street. So she says:

If I found ..., I'd (= I would) ... (not If I find ...,I'll)

When you imagine something like this, you use if + past (if I found/if you were/if we didn't etc.). But the meaning is not past:

* What would you do if you won a million pounds? (we don't really expect this to happen)

* I don't really want to go to their party, but I probably will go. They'd be offended if I didn't go.

* Sarah has decided not to apply for the job. She isn't really qualified for it, so she probably wouldn't get it if she applied.


B. We do not normally use would in the if-part of the sentence:

* I'd be very frightened if somebody pointed a gun at me. (not 'if somebody would point')

* If I didn't go to their party, they'd be offended. (not 'If I wouldn't go')

But it is possible to say 'if... would' when you ask somebody to do something:

* (from a formal letter) I would be grateful if you would send me your brochure as soon as possible.

* 'Shall I close the door?' 'Yes, please, if you would.'


C. In the other part of the sentence (not the if-part) we use would ('d)/wouldn't:

* If you took more exercise, you'd (= you would) probably feet healthier,

* Would you mind if I used your phone?

* I'm not tired enough to go to bed yet. I wouldn't steep (if I went to bed now).

Could and might are also possible:

* If you took more exercise, you might feet healthier. (= it is possible that you would feel healthier)

* If it stopped raining, we could go out. (= we would be able to go out)


D. Do not use when in sentences like those on this page:

* They would be offended if we didn't accept their invitation. (not 'when we didn't')

* What would you do if you were bitten by a snake? (not 'when you were bitten')

For if and when see also Unit 25C.



37.1 Put the verb into the correct form.

1. They would be rather offended if I _didn't go_ to see them. (not/go)

2. If you took more exercise, you _would feel_ better. (feel)

3. If I was offered the job, I think I --- it. (take)

4. I'm sure Amy will lend you the money. I'd be very surprised if she ---. (refuse)

5. If I sold my car, I --- much money for it. (not/get)

6. A lot of people would be out of work if the factory ---. (close down)

7. What would happen if I --- that red button? (press)

8. Liz gave me this ring. She --- very upset if I lost it. (be)

9. Mark and Carol are expecting us. They would be disappointed if we ---. (not/come)

10. Would Tim mind if I --- his bicycle without asking him? (borrow)

11. If somebody --- in here with a gun, I'd be very frightened. (walk)

12. I'm sure Sue --- if you explained the situation to her. (understand)


37.2 You ask a friend questions. Use What would you do if ...?

1. (Maybe one day your friend will win a lot of money.)

_What would you do if you won a lot of money?_

2. (Your friend's car has never been stolen but perhaps one day it will be.)

What ---

3. (Perhaps one day your friend will lose his/her passport.)

4. (There has never been a fire in the building.)


37.3 Answer the questions in the way shown.

1. A: Shall we catch the 10.30 train?

B: No. (arrive/too early) _If we caught the 10.30 train, we'd arrive too early._

2. A: Is Ken going to take the examination?

B: No. (fall) If he ---

3. A: Why don't we stay at a hotel?

B: No. (cost too much money) If ---

4. A: Is Sally going to apply for the job?

B: No. (not/get it) If ---

5. A: Let's tell them the truth.

B: No. (not/believe us) If ---

6. A: Why don't we invite Bill to the party?

B: No. (have to invite his friends too)


37.4 Use your own ideas to complete these sentences.

1. If you took more exercise, _you'd feel better._

2. I'd feel very angry if ---

3. If I didn't go to work tomorrow ---

4. Would you go to the party if ---

5. If you bought some new clothes

6. Would you mind if ---


Date: 2015-02-03; view: 3485

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