Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    I would rather you had gone...

    Could anyone kindly help me to clear something up about the use of ‘WOULD RATHER’ with the past perfect subjunctive ?
    “Would rather” has been already discussed in this forum. And all the grammar books say just the same:

    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. The verb is in the past tense, but the situation is in the present or in the future.
    Ex. I'd rather you went.

    But what if we want to talk about a course of unreal action we would prefer someone else to take in the past ? Should we not use ‘the past perfect subjunctive’ in the situations like these :
    Ex. He'd rather you had called the police that night last month.
    I'd rather you hadn't hunt elephants 5 years ago.

    Therefore we might also use ‘the past perfect continuous subjunctive’ as follows:
    Ex. They would rather she had been studying for her exam last weekend.

    And I suppose the same could be said about similar expressions as: “WOULD SOONER”, “WOULD JUST AS SOON”….

    I’d rather appreciate any help therein for you cannot really find anything comprehensible about this matter in grammar books or over the Internet.
    Is it grammatically correct or not: ‘He'd rather you had called the police that night last month.’ ? If it’s correct I’d like to ask native English speakers in particular, would it be appropriate to use ‘ subject +would rather+ the past perfect subjunctive’ in informal conversations ?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,888
    #2

    Re: I would rather you had gone...

    Yes, we use rather + past perfect for the past. The continuous form alone sounds a bit strange to me; if you had something like than going out with her friends, it would work better for me.

  2. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: I would rather you had gone...

    Thanks a powerful lot!
    This forum is really a spot where can get the answers!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,888
    #4

    Re: I would rather you had gone...

    You're welcome.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 3,469
    #5

    Re: I would rather you had gone...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You're welcome.
    1)"I would rather you could have been with us at the party."

    2)"I would rather you didn't tell them."

    Would these be correct? Would 2) be for the unreal future?

  3. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 3
    #6

    Smile Re: I would rather you had gone...

    They are both correct. BUT!

    "I would rather you didn't tell them." - It's for present or future, and it may be real or unreal.

    "I would rather you could have been with us at the party." - That's for unreal past.

    "I would rather you could be with us at the party." - It's for present or future, and it may be real or unreal. It's only a wish.

    The structure "could had been(or the past participle form of another verb)" is impossible and incorrect!

    And what do you think???

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •