Better vs. bettor

Better 可當形容詞、副詞、名詞和動詞用。Better 當形容詞和副詞時分別為 good 和 well 的比較級 (最高級為 best),前者意為「更好的,較佳的,好轉的」等等,後者意為「更好地,更適當地,較大程度地」等等,如 Mary went to Taipei, hoping to find a better job. (瑪麗去台北,希望找到一份更好的工作);Nothing could be better! (再好不過了!);The situation’s no better. (情況沒有好轉);If you want to get better, you have to take your medicine. (你若想康復就必須服藥);Is his stomachache any better? (他的胃痛好些了嗎?);Why was it that everyone else did better than me in the exams? (為什麼其他每個人都考得比我好呢?);We’d better keep silent. (我們最好還是保持緘默);I like Charlotte better than Anna. (比起安娜來,我更喜歡夏洛特)。

Better 當名詞時意為「更好的狀況;(人或事物) 較優者,較好者;上司 (複數型,以 someone’s betters 型態出現)」,如 The weather has changed for the better. (天氣已經好轉);You should show more respect for your elders and betters. (你們應該更加尊重長輩和上司);It’s so nice to see you again, and if you can lend me 10,000 dollars, all the better (= so much the better). (真高興又見到你,如果你能借我一萬塊,那就更好了)。用作動詞的 better 意為「勝過,超越;改善,改進」,其時態變化為 better bettered bettered bettering,如 Benjamin’s average score of 97 has never been bettered. (班傑明平均 97 的分數從未被超越);The negotiation is an important step towards bettering relations between the United States and Cuba. (這項談判是改善美國和古巴關係的重要一步)。

Bettor 意為「打賭者;下注或投注者」,如 He’s a regular bettor of Taiwan Lotto for almost five years. (他近五年來固定投注購買台灣樂透彩券)。Bettor 是美式英語,而英式英語亦拼成 better,但國際上似乎大多使用 bettor,顯然是為了避免與 better 造成混淆。