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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    I'd rather + past simple + ...

    Hello!

    1. I'd rather people said nice things because they want to, not because they are obliged to.
    2. I'd rather people said nice things because they wanted to, not because they were obliged to.

    Which one of them is correct?
    Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: I'd rather + past simple + ...

    I'd say they're both correct, with no difference in meaning.

  2. Junior Member
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    #3

    Re: I'd rather + past simple + ...

    Would the situation (present/past) change the norms of usage?
    For example:
    1. I'm expressing my wish for a situation that's happening right now - I'd rather you said that because you want to, not because you are obliged to.
    2. I'm expressing my wish for a situation that happened last week - I'd rather you (had ?) said that because you wanted to, not because you were obliged to.
    Does it make sense?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I'd rather + past simple + ...

    Yes, but you do need 'had' to be clear, as you've suggested.

  4. Junior Member
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    #5

    Re: I'd rather + past simple + ...

    and if I don't use 'had', then the sentence will also be applicable to a present situation?

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I'd rather + past simple + ...

    I think it would refer to the present if 'had' was omitted, because the past subjunctive does not refer to the past. That's what I learnt from grammar sites.
    I am not a teacher.

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