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    #1

    I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Could you please explain the diffrence between the following two sentences?
    1) I would rather you go tomorrow.
    2) I would rather you went tomorrow.
    Last edited by lhn; 04-Mar-2006 at 17:04.


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    #2

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by lhn
    Could you please explain the diffrence between the following two sentences?
    1) I would rather you go tomorrow.
    2) I would rather you went tomorrow.
    Is there anyone who can answer this question?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Son: I can't decide on between two courses which to take. The XXX's education is the better, but YYY is the cheaper.
    Father: I would rather you take XXX course.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Son: I have decided on taking the YYY course because it is the cheaper.
    Father: I would rather you took XXX course.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Are these two dialogs right?
    Last edited by lhn; 05-Mar-2006 at 15:25.


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    #3

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    dear teachers and dear students,

    I wonder why nobody hasn't written anything about this question.

    why? why? why?

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    #4

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Rather:
    I would rather go tomorrow. (talking about myself)
    I would rather you went tomorrow. (talking about you- when you have a subject after 'rather', use the past tense). You will occasionally hear people using the present, but it is more common to use the past.


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    #5

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Rather:
    I would rather go tomorrow. (talking about myself)
    I would rather you went tomorrow. (talking about you- when you have a subject after 'rather', use the past tense). You will occasionally hear people using the present, but it is more common to use the past.
    thanks for your comment tdol.

    more comment?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    I agree with tdol's post.

    The past tense is sometimes used in English to refer to an 'unreal' situation. So, although the tense is the past, we are usually talking about the present.

    I'd rather and It's time

    These expressions are also followed by an unreal past. The verb is in the past tense, but the situation is in the present. When we want to talk about a course of action we would prefer someone else to take, we use I'd rather [someone else] + past tense:

    [1] I'd rather you went.
    [2] He'd rather you called the police.
    [3] I'd rather you didn't hunt elephants.

    NOTE: stress can be important in these sentences, to show what our preference is:

    I'd rather you went = not me.
    I'd rather you went = don't stay.
    He'd rather you called the police = he doesn't want to.
    He'd rather you called the police = not the ambulance service.

    Similarly, when we want to say that now is a suitable moment to do something, either for ourselves or for someone else, we use it's time + past tense:

    [1] It's (high) time I went.
    [2] It's time you paid that bill.
    [3] Don't you think it's time you had a haircut?

    Source: www.edufind.com/english/grammar/IF10.cfm


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    #7

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Thanks also to you Casiopea...


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    #8

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Then, Could you please explain me how we can discriminate real situation from unreal situaiton when we use ''would rather''. I am not sure but I assume that while it is explained a real situation in Dialog 1, it is explained an unreal situation in Dialog 2.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dialog 1:

    Son: I can't decide on between two courses which to take. The XXX's education is the better, but YYY is the cheaper.
    Father: I would rather you take XXX course.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dialog 2:

    Son: I have decided on taking the YYY course because it is the cheaper.
    Father: I would rather you took XXX course.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by lhn; 05-Mar-2006 at 16:43.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    Grammar Note: Could you please explain to me how we can discriminate a real situation from an unreal situation.

    Son: The X course is better, but the Y is cheaper.
    Father: I would rather you tookthe X ourse.

    "would rather" is akin to the subjunctive: it refers to a wish, a desire. In other words, it's the father's wish or desire that his son take the X course.

    Let's talk about the subjunctive. With the subjunctive, the verb "were", for example, is used. It looks like the past tense in form, but it's not the past tense at all. It's a form of the verb that expresses an unreal, or hypothetical, or couterfactual event. The tense "looks like" it's in the past, but it isn't the past, nor does it refer to the past.

    Now, as tdol has already mentioned, you will, indeed, hear speakers today use the present tense with "would rather [someone else]", as in,

    EX: I would rather you take the X course. <a present wish/desire>

    Whether "take" is grammatical or not in that context is up for debate. It's certainly "acceptable", though. Speakers use it. Scholars might argue that it's an example of language change. Speakers know the structure "would rather" [someone else] + past tense expresses a present desire/wish and for that very reason they drop the past tense, or what appears to look like the past tense, and replace it with the present tense, giving:

    I would rather you took => I would rather you take

    The rule, however, is: wish, be it a past one or a present one, plus what appears to be the past tense; e.g., Subjuctive: I wish she were / Indicative: I wish she was.

    In short, that speakers are using "would rather" [someone else] + present tense is an example of the indicative: it indicates a present wish. It's language in change.

    Another camp might argue that "took" => "take" is an example of paradigmatic regularization. That's when irregular forms or structures are regularized, thereby producing a more efficient system. For example, why are there two rules, here?

    I would rather DO/take
    I would rather she DID/took

    It's not very efficient, is it? Why not make it easier on the brain? Change DID to DO:

    I would rather DO/take
    I would rather she DO/take

    Again, the Grammar rule is "would rather" [someone else] + past tense. It's a wish, a desire, akin to the subjunctive, so "would rather you took". But . . . language changes, and "would rather you take" is a sign of that.

    Hope that helps.

  3. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I would rather you go/went tomorrow.

    They both mean the same. Both are acceptable in conersation

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