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You had better help me!

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RE: You had better help me!

Postby tanuki » Sun 05.13.2007 8:06 pm

Very interesting! I'm glad I asked this question.
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。
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RE: You had better help me!

Postby keatonatron » Sun 05.13.2007 10:27 pm

richvh wrote:
How does Verb+がいい differ from Verb+べきだ?


The first shows what someone "should" do based on advice, the second shows what someone "should" do based on ethics or rules.

The first would work well with things like:

"My cold just doesn't get any better."
"You should go to the doctor."

The second would work well with:

"I just found this wallet on the street. Maybe I'll keep it."
"You should (you're supposed to) turn it in to the police!"
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RE: You had better help me!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 05.13.2007 10:34 pm

Although note that Xがいい sounds pretty stern/strict, and a little formal or old fashioned. I have a feeling you would get laughed at if you said 医者のところによるがいい in response to someone saying they're sick. I'm not sure I've ever heard this in real life, only in anime or something where they say 俺の真の力を見るがいい or 俺の前におののくがいい .
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Sun 05.13.2007 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: You had better help me!

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 05.14.2007 3:41 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Although note that Xがいい sounds pretty stern/strict, and a little formal or old fashioned.


And one had best make sure that one is of sufficient social position or otherwise sufficiently intimidating enough to the other person to back it up. There is almost an implied "or else" in there and there's no point in letting your mouth write a check your a$$ can't cash, as the old saying goes.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
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RE: するがいい

Postby coco » Mon 05.14.2007 4:07 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Although note that Xがいい sounds pretty stern/strict,

Mike Cash wrote:
There is almost an implied "or else" in there

I agree with these.
So far, I've never heard Vがいい in real life.
At least nobody speaks Vがいい to me.
Of course I never use Vがいい command for anyone.
Last edited by coco on Mon 05.14.2007 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: You had better help me!

Postby AJBryant » Mon 05.14.2007 4:29 pm

Then again, if you're a fan of Iron Chef, you heard 「蘇るがいい」every week. :)


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RE: You had better help me!

Postby shin1ro » Wed 05.16.2007 12:30 am

It's an interesting topic to me too. :)

Yeah, I never heard 〜するがいい (or 〜するがよい) in real conversation. It sounds formal but rather enforcing. To me, it sounds like an old king, samurai who's in high status, or mysterious old woman as a fortuneteller, in a historical novels or manga etc...

I think in many Japanese schools, "had better do" would be (customarily) translated into "〜したほうがよい".

But the other day, I learned "you'd better do" would sound rather stronger in English than "〜したほうがよい" in Japanese.
I'd better use "you may want to do" or "you might want to do" for the softer suggestion that will give the person choices. Probably it's ok to use "*I* had better do" but I guess "*you* had better do" sounds a little stronger. Am I right?

This ("had better do" vs "〜したほうがよい") may be kind of 受験英語 - stereotypic phrase-by-phrase convenient translation legacy for a "college entrance exam"...

The legacy and costomary table in school I came across would be:

〜したほうがいい - had better do
〜すべきだ - should do
〜しなければならない - must do
〜してもいい - may do
〜(することが)できる - can do

Anyway, it's so hard for me to think about the nuances in English but I tried to recall Japanese of the same kind... (There may be others but...)

In conversation, I came across for a suggestion (a little stronger than the proposals below):

〜すべきだ
〜すべきです(よ/ね)
〜すべきだと思います(よ/ね)
〜すべきでしょう(ね)
〜したほうがいい
〜したほうがいいです(よ/ね)
〜したほうがいいと思います(よ/ね)
〜したほうがいいでしょう(ね)
〜すべきかもしれない(です)(よ/ね)
〜すべきかもしれません(よ/ね)
〜したほうがいいかもしれません(よ/ね)

- ordered from strong to soft (maybe from "should" to "had better"): (I try to make it softer by adding speech politeness.

I think 〜するほうがいい instead of 〜したほうがいい also ok, but probably it's used less.

As for a soft and more casual proposal/suggestion, which sounds like giving you more choices:

〜したら? (very casual)
〜すれば? (very casual)
〜したらどう(ですか)?
〜したらいいんじゃない(ですか)?
〜してもいいんじゃない(ですか)?
〜すればいいんじゃない(ですか)?

These below sounds asking a question much more if you agree my proposal or not. But still it works and sounds soft:

〜すればどう(ですか)?
〜するのはどう(ですか)?
〜するのはいいんじゃない(ですか)?
〜するのもいいんじゃない(ですか)?

Please note that without ですか, it sounds like タメぐち which is easily considered as lacking politeness to senior people.

か instead of ですか is used in a musculine way in casual conversation.


-shin1ro
Last edited by shin1ro on Wed 05.16.2007 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
英語がおかしければご指摘ください(日本語も...)。サンキュ〜 ;-)
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RE: You had better help me!

Postby Gundaetiapo » Wed 07.04.2007 8:29 pm

It's worth noting getting rid of "had" gets rid of some of the menacing tone Tanuki mentions. However even "you better" still follows the general rule Yudan describes:

方がいい is not strong enough for English "You had better." "You had better" is only used in cases where not doing what is suggested will result in some sort of penalty, mishap, etc. So "You'd better go to the hospital [or you might get even sicker" is fine. So is "You'd better do your homework [or I will punish you]." But "You'd better try the fish" is strange.
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