Is the phrase "better have my money" grammatically correct as in the title of the song found in the following link?



Should it be "had better have my money"?

Update. I must say that I'm not trying to judge nor trying to correct the song just trying to learn the right way to use this phrase just in case I need to use it. While it has been metioned in the comments that songs often use a lot of slang is good to know the right version of them. Right now I'm just interested in knowing grammatical version of the title phrase since I think it'll be useful for when I lend money to someone.

  • 4
    Looking for grammatical correctness in song lyrics is usually pointless, because a) they often make heavy use of slang, and b) the lyrics are often written to rhyme or fit the beat, not to be strictly correct.
    – stangdon
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 0:12
  • So in other words is not grammatical right? And it's worth to say that I'm asking this question in order to know the right usage of the prase just in case I have to use it in the future. Commented May 4, 2016 at 0:17
  • 2
    I would actually say both of them are correct, although "had better" is the original, slightly more formal version. In US English, you do just hear "better" by itself a lot. Here's one reference: grammarphobia.com/blog/2013/03/had-better.html
    – stangdon
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 0:22
  • Possible duplicate of when to use "had better" Commented May 6, 2016 at 5:25

1 Answer 1


you already have this figured out, but

"had better + verb"

is the grammatically correct form. However, just like stangdon said, you wouldn't hear the word "had" being pronounced that much in spoken English in the US (I'm not American, but I lived there for a while, and I am commenting based on my experiences there). "You had better" is usually shortened to be:

"You'd better"

and you probably wouldn't hear people clearly pronounce "had" or say "you had better" all separately in conversations that often.

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