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    #1

    You'd rather I be or I were

    In this example could it be also used 'were' instead of 'be'(the subjunctive form)?

    e.g. Would you rather I be with someone else?

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    #2

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Quote Originally Posted by allthewayanime View Post
    In this example could it be also used 'were' instead of 'be'(the subjunctive form)?

    e.g. Would you rather I be with someone else?
    Both are grammatical in my opinion. "Was" could also be used.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    For me, the 'be' version is not very natural. It suggests to me the idea that the preference would be for a hypothetical future situation; the 'were' version suggests that the preference would be for a hypothetical (counterfactual?) present situation.

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    #4

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    For me, the 'be' version is not very natural. It suggests to me the idea that the preference would be for a hypothetical future situation; the 'were' version suggests that the preference would be for a hypothetical (counterfactual?) present situation.
    I agree.

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    #5

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    *** NOT A TEACHER ***


    From Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy:

    When you want someone else to do something, you can say I'd rather you did.../I'd rather he did..., etc. We use past in this structure, but the meaning is present or future, not past.
    An example from my favourite movie, "A Few Good Men":

    Colonel Jessep: I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post.

    (Note, also, the subjunctive after "suggest".)

    The imperative for this sentence, "Would you rather I be with someone else?" would read: I would rather you were with someone else (which seems to be perfectly correct), that's why I think that the original (interrogative) sentence is correct. (I admit it sounds strange even to me, but, being a non-native, what I think is of no importance. )

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    #6

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Yes, but this sentence is also fine I think:

    I would rather you study this evening than go to a party.

    As for counterfactuality, I've found this sentence from Chicago Sun-Times (2005):

    They would rather he be around to tell stories, laugh and enjoy life.

    The context tells us he's not around.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Mav~ View Post
    I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post.

    (Note, also, the subjunctive after "suggest".)
    Well, as the subject of the verb is not third person, we cannot be sure that this is subjunctive.

    [...]being a non-native, what I think is of no importance.
    Rubbish!
    This forum benefits enormously from the suggestions of some knowledgeable and/or genuinely interested non-native speakers. There are a couple of them in this thread,

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    For me, the 'be' version is not very natural. It suggests to me the idea that the preference would be for a hypothetical future situation; the 'were' version suggests that the preference would be for a hypothetical (counterfactual?) present situation.
    I agree. "that I be" suggests the future, in a way that "that I were" does not.

    I would rather [that] you be a doctor than a baker = In the future, I hope you become a doctor, not a baker.
    I would rather [that] you were a doctor than a baker = You are a baker. I wish you were a doctor.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 09-Oct-2011 at 22:57. Reason: typo and missing words

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    #9

    Wink Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Well, as the subject of the verb is not third person, we cannot be sure that this is subjunctive.
    But may I call it subjunctive? To me, it seems to be subjunctive. This day has been a disaster for me, and I could not endure another disappointment. I'd like to have a good sleep.

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    #10

    Re: You'd rather I be or I were

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I agree. "that I be" suggests the future, in a way that "if I were" does not.
    .
    Hi, emsr2d2. Why "that I be" and "if I were"? Do you mean that the full form of

    She would rather I were...

    is actually

    She would rather if I were...

    and not

    She would rather that I were...

    ?

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