could do with and better off


New Member
I'd appreciate if you'd let me know the difference between

"You could do with taking a leaf out of your brother's book." and " You are better off taking you cue from brother".

And which one of those is more colloquial than the other.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In that context, the first version sounds more natural. But that’s maybe not the best example of how either of those phrases is used. In none of these examples could you switch from one of those phrases to the other:

    I could really do with a drink · This room could do with a lick of paint

    If you’re in a hurry, you’d be better off getting a taxi · If you’re not feeling well, you’d be better off going home


    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Could do with" is more of an observation than a recommendation.
    "I could do with a drink": I'm just letting you know, which might be a prelude to getting myself one, and would you like one too? Or it might be a hint that you get me one, or that we should stop at a coffee shop or go to a pub. Or it could just be a general moan in the middle of a long walk when we don't have any drinks with us.​

    "You are/would be better off" is a recommendation or advice. It is usually used with "would be" (being more polite), but you can use "are" if the advice is immediate and you know that it is wanted:
    A: How do I get to Paddington?
    B: From here? You are better off on the Circle Line​


    New Member
    Thank you, I was easily able to understand what you told me.
    I appreciate your simple explanations.:thumbsup:
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