When I want to make some suggestions to others, does it sound rude to say "you'd better..."? I feel like it contains the implications that I am bossing people around.

If so, what are some better options to use other than that?

  • Please give an exact context where you would use the expression you are looking for.
    – fev
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 13:26
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    You'd better not tell your boss at work that he'd better do (or not do) something! Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 13:32
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    "You'd better watch out, pal! That car almost ran you down!" is just a friendly (=partly because of "pal") comment from a bystander. Usually, it's interchangeable with "you should". Sometimes, it's used to make a threat (as in "you'd better ... or I will kick your ***") Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 13:56
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    It could be seen as rude no matter how you phrase it when your opinion has not been asked. Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


The phrase “you had better X” is often used to state a threat, so I would avoid it. There are some situations where it wouldn’t be perceived that way, but I think it would be difficult to know which context is OK unless you’re very fluent. An example is,

It’s going to rain cats and dogs tonight according to the weather forecast. You’d better wear a hat!

Depending on the context, there are many different ways to express your opinion of what you think someone should do.

Without more context, the simplest way would be to replace “had better” with “should”. You could preface it with “I think” to soften it even more.

I think you should wear a hat.

A general way to make any suggestion more polite is to not direct it at a specific person, so it sounds less like an order. Adding a word like “probably” can soften it even more.

We should probably wear hats today.

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    "The phrase “you had better X” is often used to state a threat, so I would avoid it" There are situation where a threat like that would be appropriate, though, like a parent scolding a child.
    – nick012000
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 0:00
  • @nick012000 The author asked specifically about using it for a suggestion in a polite way, not about the phrase in general. I don't think it would be appropriate to sound like a parent scolding a child when you're trying to make a suggestion to a coworker.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 12:20

"You might want to" is a very polite way of giving advice to somebody. You can just say your advice or if you want to be even more polite, you can say "You might want to think about" + gerund (verb + ING) or "You might want to consider" + gerund (verb + ING).

You can find loads of examples on YouGlish.

This site shows every types of English, but if you want to, you can set it to American, British, or Australian only (below the search bar) Also, if you want to search for any phrase, you can use YouGlish.


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