be better off

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
1. But so many people have had the same experience with the post that you begin to wonder if we would be better off transporting all the post by horse again.
2. But so many people have had the same experience with the post that you begin to wonder if we would be better transport all the post by horse again.
Could I use either “be better off” or “be better” in this case? Are they different in meaning?
Thanks.
 
  • Driven

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Hi,
    1. But so many people have had the same experience with the post that you begin to wonder if we would be better off transporting all the post by horse again.:tick:
    2. But so many people have had the same experience with the post that you begin to wonder if we it would be better to transport all the post by horse again.
    Could I use either “be better off” or “be better” in this case? Are they different in meaning?
    Thanks.
    The first sentence means: would it benefit us more to transport by horse?

    The second one means: would it be beneficial in general to transport by horse? I don't know what "all the post" means but I think you are talking about transporting the mail. Maybe post is a BE term. I suspect it should be all the posts but I'm not sure about that part.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you, Diven.
    I feel that they only have a slight difference in meaning. Is it right?
    Could I use "had better"?
    "you begin to wonder if we had better transport all the post by horse again."
     

    Driven

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    You're right, it is only a slight difference in meaning. "had better" means something else. In the example you gave, "you begin to wonder if we had better transport all the post by horse again", it means, "I'm thinking we need to start transporting by horse again."
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Driven:
    I always think that "had better" is synonym of "should". I am surprised that it has the meaning of "start".
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Well off" is used as an adjective meaning "in fortunate circumstances".
    "Better off" is the comparative of "well off" and means "in more fortunate or better circumstances".
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, Forero.
    Do you mean that if we were in better circumstances, we would transport all the post by horse?"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Sentence #1 says you begin to wonder if we would improve our circumstances if we were to resume transporting all the post by horse. (So many people have had an unpleasant experience with the "modern" post.)

    Sentence #2 does not make sense to me. Driven's version of #2 does make sense and means about the same thing - in an abstract sort of way. Sentence #1 is concerned with how we would feel (more fortunate, in better circumstances); Driven's sentence #2 seems to be concerned with general principle or theoretical considerations.
     

    Driven

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Driven:
    I always think that "had better" is synonym of "should". I am surprised that it has the meaning of "start".
    You are right, "had better" means "should" and in my sentence, I replaced it with "need" not "start". (need to start)
     
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