<better> get used to these bars

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
In 1985, Marty's uncle has already been in prison for some time. Now Marty ends up in the house of his family, in 1955, and sees there his uncle being a toddler in a playpen. He to him:
-- So, you're my uncle Joey. Better get used to these bars, kid.
Back to the Future, movie

Does that mean "you had better get used"? Thank you.
 
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  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you both! But what is confusing me is that according to dictionaries it expresses an obligation, threat... But could it also be used expressing rather advice, i.e., be "softer"?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Our WR Dictionary says:

    had better,
    would be wiser or more well-advised to; ought to: We had better stay indoors today.

    It can be said in a threatening way, but in the OP, and in my post #3, I don't perceive any threat.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's more than advice; more of a strong suggestion or instruction.

    You had better ... indicates the alternative could be unpleasant, bad for you in some way.

    You had better keep taking the medication if you want to get cured.

    You had better watch out for falling rocks on this mountainside.

    I say that it can be used as a threat, but is not necessarily hostile - sometimes à friendly warning.

    You'd better keep quiet; if you talk to the cops about my drug-dealing, you'll not see your kids again.

    You'd better wear a warm coat today as it's going to be chilly.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you for the replies !
    You had better ... indicates the alternative could be unpleasant, bad for you in some way.
    But, e.g., in the OP, or in HP's sentence in #3, it more looks like a suggestion, with no implication that the alternative is going to be bad in any way... or do I misunderstand?
     
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