A Short Story for the Semi-Modal Verb HAD BETTER:
Good for Christmas

This story is part of the English Modal Verbs Series
All the modal and semi-modal verbs are in bold.


The semi-modal verb had better has a similar meaning to should and ought to, but it is stronger.

If you say, “He had better arrive on time!” you mean that the best thing is for him to remember, because if he does not, it will be a problem. There will be negative consequences if he does not arrive on time (for example, you will be upset or he will be in trouble).

We only use had better in the simple present because it talks about the best thing to do in the present or in the near future. Remember that we don’t change the form of had better. We don’t add “-s,” “-ed,” or “-ing.”

Short Story – Good for Christmas:

Oscar and Rose are very excited for Christmas and opening their presents. They want to help get ready.

“The star is missing!” says Oscar. “We had better put it on top of the tree.”

“Yes,” Rose agrees, “and we had better make some snacks for Santa Claus in case he’s hungry after delivering all those presents!”

“We had better be very good today. If not, we won’t get good presents!” says Oscar, sounding a little worried.

“Yes. We had better eat all our vegetables today!” agrees Rose.

“Definitely. We are going to behave so well! Oh, Daddy needs to clean the garage today. We had better help him!” Oscar says.

“That’s a good idea,” replies Rose. “We’ll help Mommy with dinner, too.”

“Wow, being good is a lot of work!” says Oscar. “Mommy and Daddy had better notice it and tell Santa Claus!”

This story is part of the English Modal Verbs Series.
To get all the stories and exercises in this series, click here.