you had better take an umbrella

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Imladris, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Imladris Senior Member

    Turkey - Turkish
    You ---- an umbrella – it’s going to rain.


    A) could take
    B) can take
    C) may take
    D) might take
    E) had better take


    E is OK, but what about the others? Can they be used in this context?
     
  2. katie_here Senior Member

    England
    England/English
    They can all be used.

    A. "Could I take an umbrella?"
    "Yes, you could take an umbrella, it's going to rain".

    B. I'll take my coat I think".
    "You can take an umbrella too, it's going to rain".

    C. "May I take an umbrella"?
    "Yes, you may take an umbrella, it's going to rain".

    D "I'm going out for a walk"
    "You might take an umbrella, it's going to rain"

    E. "I'm going now, it's getting darker outside"
    "You had better take an umbrella, it's going to rain".
     
  3. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    Since the rain in certain, "it is going to rain", I like E the best.

    In other situations, you could choose one of the other options.

    You could take an umbrella, just in case it rains. [polite suggestion]
    You might take an umbrella, just in case it rains. [polite suggestion]

    You can/may take an umbrella, if you think that it's likely to rain.
     
  4. Awatoufa Senior Member

    Tunisia
    Arabic
    hi here we better use you should take an umbrella because it's an advice
    For A,B,C,D we can't use them because it's a case of time use.
    it's going to rain (future) and the speqking time is the present for this reason we can't use could take or might take or even had take which are in the past.
    Now for may take and might take it's incorrect from the point of view that we use may/might to express probability/possibility for exmple : It may snow the evening.
    It also expresses formal permission, suggestion and hope.
    So in your case i suggest the following : You have better to take an umbrella, it's going to rain (it can be obligation or advice, both are true)
     
  5. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    It is a subjunctive form, and can only be ".... had better ....."
     
  6. Mr_Antares Senior Member

    Boston, USA
    US English
    Personally, I would never use A,B,C or D, even though they are grammatically correct.

    Since the speaker is giving advice, "had better" is the simplest and most direct way. There are other more polite ways of saying this: "you might want to take an umbrella" is one common example.
     
  7. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I don't think the context is very closely defined. I don't see that this has to be advice; it could, as Katie say, be granting permission. I expect the person setting the question had E in mind, but I agree with Katie: in different circumstances one could say each of these.
     

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