better : Common Errors in English


When Chuck says “I better get my research started; the paper’s duetomorrow,” he means “I had better,” abbreviated in speech to “I’dbetter.” The same pattern is followed for “he’d better,” “she’d better,” and “they’d better.”

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  • n  something superior in quality or condition or effect
    a change for the better
  • n  someone who bets
  • n  a superior person having claim to precedence
    the common man has been kept in his place by his betters
  • n  the superior one of two alternatives
    chose the better of the two
  • v  surpass in excellence
    She bettered her own record
  • v  to make better
  • v  get better
  • a  (comparative of `good') superior to another (of the same class or set or kind) in excellence or quality or desirability or suitability; more highly skilled than another
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din
    a better coat
    a better type of car
    a suit with a better fit
    a better chance of success
    produced a better mousetrap
    she's better in math than in history
  • a  (comparative of `good') changed for the better in health or fitness
    her health is better now
    I feel better
  • s  (comparative and superlative of `well') wiser or more advantageous and hence advisable
    it would be better to speak to him
  • s  more than half
    argued for the better part of an hour
  • a  having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified
  • s  having the normally expected amount
  • a  morally admirable
  • s  deserving of esteem and respect
  • s  promoting or enhancing well-being
  • s  agreeable or pleasing
  • s  of moral excellence
  • s  having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude
  • s  thorough
  • s  with or in a close or intimate relationship
  • s  financially sound
  • s  most suitable or right for a particular purpose
  • s  resulting favorably
  • s  exerting force or influence
  • s  capable of pleasing
  • s  appealing to the mind
  • s  in excellent physical condition
  • s  tending to promote physical well-being; beneficial to health
  • s  not forged
  • s  not left to spoil
  • s  generally admired
  • a  in good health especially after having suffered illness or injury; at least I feel well"
  • s  resulting favorably
  • s  wise or advantageous and hence advisable
  • r  comparative of `well'; in a better or more excellent manner or more advantageously or attractively or to a greater degree etc.
    She had never sung better
    a deed better left undone
    better suited to the job
  • r  from a position of superiority or authority
    I know better.
  • r  (often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well')
  • r  thoroughly or completely; fully; often used as a combining form
  • r  indicating high probability; in all likelihood
  • r  (used for emphasis or as an intensifier) entirely or fully
  • r  to a suitable or appropriate extent or degree
  • r  favorably; with approval
  • r  to a great extent or degree
  • r  with great or especially intimate knowledge
  • r  with prudence or propriety
  • r  with skill or in a pleasing manner
  • r  in a manner affording benefit or advantage
  • r  in financial comfort
  • r  without unusual distress or resentment; with good humor
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