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  1. #1
    BrunaBC's Avatar
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    Default the use of would rather

    Hi,

    I'd appreciate if a native speaker could tell me whether the sentence below is natural or not.

    Jane's father would rather she went to a better university.

    I would say: Her father would like her to go to a better university.

    Thank you.
    Not a teacher.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: the use of would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post
    Jane's father would rather she went to a better university.

    I would say: Her father would like her to go to a better university.
    Both of these are correct English, but they don't have exactly the same meaning. The first is closer to 'Her father would prefer her to go to a better university' than to your version.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 21-Mar-2013 at 22:53. Reason: minor typo

  3. #3
    BrunaBC's Avatar
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    Default Re: the use of would rather

    Thank you 5jj, I see the difference in meaning. But is this use of "would rather" usual?
    It sounds quite strange -> He would rather you didn't go.
    Not a teacher.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: the use of would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post
    Thank you 5jj, I see the difference in meaning. But is this use of "would rather" usual?
    It sounds quite strange -> He would rather you didn't go.
    It's perfectly natural in my variety of English.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: the use of would rather

    It's very natural in BrE, certainly.

    I'd rather you didn't do that.

    Do you want to go to the cinema tonight?
    I'd rather not.

    Would you like to go to a One Direction concert?
    I'd rather boil my head in oil!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: the use of would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Both of these are correct English, but they don't have exactly the same meaning. The first is closer to 'Her father would prefer her to go to a better university' than to your version.
    5jj: Don't you think BrunaBC's, original sentence should be, "..... would rather she go ....."

  7. #7
    Nehushtan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The use of “would rather”

    The original sentence is correct (“… would rather she went …”).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The use of “would rather”

    When I first read the original sentence, I thought about pointing out that we also use "... would rather she go ..." but then I thought about how often I hear that compared to how often I hear (and use) "... would rather she went ..." and decided against it.

    He would rather she went to university.
    He would rather she go to university.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  9. #9
    Nehushtan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The use of “would rather”

    Some idiomatic constructions require the past tense even if the event described has not occurred yet. “Would rather …” is one example; another example is “it’s time …”: “It’s time she went to bed.”

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: the use of would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    5jj: Don't you think BrunaBC's, original sentence should be, "..... would rather she go ....."
    In BrE, the present subjunctive is on life support.

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