Translation:You should exercise more.
Except maybe the one where Duo killed the hat-selling dog (and like a gajillion grandparents )
That's simply how the "ほうがいいです" construction works; it's preceded by a part tense verb form. To say "you should go to sleep right away" (i.e. "You'd better go to sleep right away"), you would say: すぐにねたほうがいいです
Thanks for clarifying, V2Blast, I wondered about that too. You seem very knowledgeable. What other sources did you use to study Japanese?
I think it represents the order of two events.
したらいいです(past->now) The speaker concludes that based on their experience that it worked for them.
するといいでしょう(now->future) The speaker assumes that based on shared knowledge.
If you are talking with your close friends, the former one is more likely to be accepted as an advice because your experience is reliable.
It also hints that it will take much time to get a good outcome. If you think it won't, you can simply say するといいです(now->now).
Oh, I thought した was past? As opposed to する which is present? Now I'm confused. :(
Yes, actually ほうがいい works with both present and past forms are both grammatically correct and have both the same meaning more or less. I feel like the construction with the past form is more common, but I would not bet on that. To make it into a past scenario, you use the past form of いい in the construction, よかった so it becomes ほうがよかった
The dictionary hint for よ is "~you know" but it doesn't accept "You should exercise more, you know."
Can someone explain the grammar aspect of this? Specifically why it is a suggestion/command versus a statement ("it is good to exercise more ")
ほうがいいです means "this way is better" more or less? ほう lets you know a comparison is being made. You can use it for more than better! ほうが速いです would mean "this way is faster" and ほうがおいしいです would mean "this way is more delicious"
I knew both things separately but my mind hadn't made the connection. That helps a lot, thanks !!
The expression ... ほうがいい is actually a comparison. A よりB のほうがいいです (B is better than A). It can be preceded directly by a verb in the plain present or past tense, a noun or pronoun plus の, or a demonstrative ending in の (その). The adjective いい could be replaced by others. そのほうがおいしい / おおきい / たかい です. That is tastier / bigger / higher or more expensive.
When ほうがいい follows a verb, it's used as a kind of recommendation or advice about what to do. You (had) better ... / You should ...: べんきょう (れんしゅう) したほうがいいです. You should study / practice. As to した vs. する, consider that in English we can say: It would be better if you exercise(d). Recommendations can be seen as not just advice to DO something, but as exhortations to get something DONE. The latter is probably a little more emphatic.
They've been translating the yo particle as 'you know' this entire time, and now you get marked wrong for it
"Please take a shower immediately." "Please read many books." "You should excercise more." So now I'm stinky, dumb, and fat. Thanks Duo.
Since personal pronouns are omitted in Japanese, "you" shouldn't be the only valid English translation here...
Wouldn't a better translation be something like "It would be better if you'd exercise more" ?
Is this as potentially offensive in Japanese as its translation is in English?
I think of it as: the way of exercising more is better. Or maybe even more litteral: the way (where you have) exercised more is good. That's where you should take a hint and take it as an advice.