:Home/Japanese Grammar/ほうがいい (hou ga ii) means “it’s better to.”

ほうがいい (hou ga ii) means “it’s better to”…

hou ga ii

ほうがいい (hou ga ii) is used for giving suggestions or advice.  In English, it is similar to “it’s better to” or “you should”.  The proper form is to place it after the past form of a verb (ta-form).

Form: (ta-form verb) + ほうがいい

 

hayaku neta hou ga ii desu yo  
はやほうがいいですよ。

hayaku neta hou ga ii desu yo.

(It is better to go to bed early.)

 hayaku neta hou ga ii desu yo
 

When we make a suggestion in a positive present tense using ほうがいい (hou ga ii), it is important to use the past ta-form of the verb.  There are many grammatical phrases that use the past ta-form of the verb even though we are using present tense, so this isn’t unusual!  If we are using a negative verb however, we will stick with present/future tense:

 

 
タバコたばこわないほうがいいですよ。 

Tabako wa suwanai hou ga ii desu yo.

(It is better not to smoke.)

Tabako wa suwanai hou ga ii desu yo 
Tabako wa suwanai hou ga ii desu yo
We will also take a look at べき (beki), a much stronger alternative to ほうがいい (hou ga ii).  First, let’s take a look at some more examples using our main grammar point, ほうがいい (hou ga ii).
 

Anime Practice with ほうがいい (hou ga ii)

 

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More examples of ほうがいい (hou ga ii)

gohan no ato de ha wo migaita hou ga ii desu ご飯ごはんあとで みがいた ほうがいいです。

gohan no ato de ha wo migaita hou ga ii desu.

(It’s better to brush your teeth after meal.)

gohan no ato de wa wo migaita hou ga ii desu  
   
毎日まいにち日本語にほんごを 練習れんしゅうした ほうがいいですよ。

mainichi nihongo o renshuu shita hougaii desu yo.

(You should practice Japanese every day.)

 

mainichi nihongo o renshuu shita hougaii desu yo 

 
kono mondai wa sensei ni kiita hougaii desu yo この問題もんだいは 先生せんせいに いた ほうがいいですよ。

kono mondai wa sensei ni kiita hougaii desu yo.

(You should ask the teacher about this problem.)

 

kono mondai wa sensei ni kiita hougaii desu yo 

 

If ほうがいい (hou ga ii) is too soft then you should use べき (beki)!

 

べき (beki) is much stronger than ほうがいい (hou ga ii).  You can use it to sound more.. opinionated!  Here are some examples.

 

そんなことをべきではありません。

Sonna koto wo iu beki de wa airmasen.

(You must not say things like that!)

Sonna koto wo iu beki de wa airmasen.
 

あんなひととはわかれるべきだ。

Anna hito to wa wakareru beki da.

(You should break up with someone like that!)

Anna hito to wa wakareru beki da.
 

この映画えいが絶対ぜったいべきだ。

Kono eiga wa zettai ni miru beki da.

(You really should see this movie.)

Kono eiga wa zettai ni miru beki da.
Kono eiga wa zettai ni miru beki da
 
Probability with DESHOU and DAROU Japanese Grammar Index Comparing things with YORI and HOU GA