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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Exclamation Trouble with "Would Rather That"

    Bit confused about "Would Rather That" According to Barron's TOEFL (Grammar Edition) I found a formula like this:

    Subject + would rather + that + subject + verb (past)

    My question is: is there any alternative to this phrase which can express the same meaning. Like - my sentence is:

    "I would rather that you drove"

    If I want to use any other phrase except "would rather that" what would be the solution?

    Thank You
    Last edited by toxic4s; 24-Sep-2011 at 11:13.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Trouble with "Would Rather That"

    Quote Originally Posted by toxic4s View Post
    Bit confused about "Would Rather That" According to Barron's TOEFL (Grammar Edition) I found a formula like this:

    Subject + would rather + that + subject + verb (past)

    My question is: is there any alternative to this phrase which can express the same meaning. Like - my sentence is:

    "I would rather that you drive"

    If I want to use any other phrase except "would rather that" what would be the solution?

    Thank You
    If you followed Barron's, your sentence would be "I would rather that you drove." But this seems to be the subjunctive rather than "verb (past)" - unless Barron's uses "verb (past)" to mean the past tense form.

    Personally, I'd say, "I would rather you drive."
    You can also say: "I'd prefer you to drive" or "I'd prefer that you drove." or "Why don't you drive?" or "It might be better if you drove."
    ...

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Trouble with "Would Rather That"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Personally, I'd say, "I would rather you drive."
    ...
    I use 'I'd rather you drove'.

    In that particular utterance, your version does not jar too much, but a present tense would seem wrong in the following:

    A: I'll have another beer before I drive home.
    B: I'd rather you didn't
    .

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Trouble with "Would Rather That"

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I use 'I'd rather you drove'.

    In that particular utterance, your version does not jar too much, but a present tense would seem wrong in the following:

    A: I'll have another beer before I drive home.
    B: I'd rather you didn't.
    Yes, but aren't we talking about the subjunctive here? And subjunctive usage differs widely among dialects and individuals.
    It's not the past tense. We are talking about a preference for something that will happen in the future - whether I will drive, or you will. The past tense doesn't enter into it, though the past tense form (as the subjunctive) does.

    Yes, I'd say, "I'd rather you didn't." But I still might say "I'd rather you drive" - which doesn't sound bad where I live.
    In this case, I'm not asking others to follow my example.

    PS: I've thought of a difference between these examples. In "I'd rather you drive", I'm expressing a preference between whether "you drive" or "I drive". In "I'd rather you didn't", I'm expressing a preference between whether "you did/do" or "you didn't/don't". That doesn't mandate a different grammar, but it could explain why one sounds different to me than the other.
    Last edited by Raymott; 24-Sep-2011 at 10:39.

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: Trouble with "Would Rather That"

    Yes sir, you're right, it will be "drove" not "drive". My mistake.

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