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Thread: would rather

  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default would rather

    Dear teachers,

    What are the different uses of "would rather" ?

    1) Would rather to express a regret in the past:

    a) would rather + perfect infinitive ?: if there is only a subject.

    e.g. We went by sea but Iíd rather have gone or had gone by air.
    (I wanted to go by air, but didnít get my wish)

    b) if there is 1 subject + 1 object (or 2 subjects ?): it doesnít change ?

    e.g. I would rather you have gone or had gone by air (?)

    2) What's the difference between:

    a) I would rather Go home. (bare inifinitive)
    b) I would rather HAVE GONE home. (perfect infinitive)
    c) I would rather HAD GONE home. (past perfect ?)

    Sorry but I'm getting confused...

    Would you have other examples ?

    Many thanks,
    Hela

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: would rather

    I'd rather have gone by air.
    I'd rather you hadn't done that.


    However, the scond structure is used less nowadays; 'I wish' would be more common.

  3. #3
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: would rather

    Dear tdol,

    Do both of your sentences express a regret about a past action ?
    Would :

    a) She'd rather you went by plane = past subjunctive = it's still possible.
    b) They'd rather you had gone by plane = perfect subjunctive = it's too late.

    Correct / incorrect ?

    Thanks,
    Hela

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: would rather

    Yes, they do. Your examples are correct- the tenses follow the second and third conditional patterns and time frames.

  5. #5
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: would rather

    Many thanks!

  6. #6
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: would rather

    Now, What do you think of the following sentences. Are they correct ?

    1) I would have done better to arrive earlier.
    2) It would have been better if you had arrived earlier.

    Are they equivalent to :

    3) You would rather have arrived earlier.
    4) I would rather you had arrived earlier.

    Thank you in advance.
    Hela

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