better off

Ocham

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, everyone

There are two usages in "better off" as follows:

1) You're better off now than you were last year.
2) You could take a taxi, but this time of day,
you better off taking a train.

I'd like to know which you use more often in your daily life.
My dictionary gives priority to 1), and we are not taught 2)
at school. But I hear or see 2) used more often.

Thank you
 
Last edited:
  • envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    Both examples are used often. The only problem is that example 2) is missing a verb.

    You could take a taxi, but this time of day,
    you would be better off taking a train.

    In both of your examples, the term "better off" could be replaced by the term "more successful."
     

    peter199083

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    "better than"is used to compare the present with the previous.
    I mean the sentence may mean
    "You had better leave now than you did last year"
     

    envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    The sentence would need to be changed to express the idea that you are refering to. The word "better" can be confusing because it is used in many different ways. Your example :

    "You had better leave now than you did last year"

    does not make sense. This is beacause the words "had better" are usually a synonym for the word "should" in a very strong tone of voice. This gives you the sentence:

    "You should leave now than you did last year."

    Expressing it this way shows that there is no clear idea behind these words.
     

    jucami

    Senior Member
    USA (English)
    Peter, the sentence means "you have improved since last year." The sentence you gave doesn't make sense grammatically, so I don't know what you mean.
     

    peter199083

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I did pay much attention to the grammar structure.The English teacher in China made me directly notice the word "better..than"and naturally compare the two sides.Therefore,I neglect the phrase "better off"which has its own meaning.To apologize for breaking the phrase into 2 pieces.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I did pay much attention to the grammar structure.The English teacher in China made me directly notice the word "better..than"and naturally compare the two sides.Therefore,I neglect the phrase "better off"which has its own meaning.To apologize for breaking the phrase into 2 pieces.
    There is no need to apologize. Your conclusion that "better off" is an idiom that should not be divided by an inserted word is correct.
     
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