I'm confused by the rules of usage here. When there is another person involved, what is grammatically correct?


I'd rather my son be an orphan than have a bad father.

Some on the internet say both are acceptable but generally many have a proclivity towards the past tense. If so, how should the above sentence be written? I'd rather my son was an orphan than have a bad father? ... than had a bad father sounds way off. I've always felt that (as a native speaker, if you'd refer to native speakers as having spoken the language their whole life and not just being Caucasian) for this conjunction there has to be 2 forms of tenses for different uses. I've always perceived the uses this way, although I'm thinking now that they may be grammatically incorrect:

Father: Which course did you choose?
Son: Course B.
Father: I'd rather you chose Course A. --> To refer to the past because the son had already made a choice.

Father: Which course are you going to choose?
Son: Course B.
Father: I'd rather you choose Course A. --> The son has not made a choice yet.

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If the above 2 examples are grammatically inaccurate, then what should be the correct usage? Should it be

Father: Which course did you choose?
Son: Course B.
Father: I'd rather you had chosen Course A.

Father: Which course are you going to choose?
Son: Course B.
Father: I'd rather you chose Course A. --> Past tense use with imaginary situations as the son has not made a choice yet.