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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    1) My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    2) I would rather get killed than betray my country.

    Please check my sentences.

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    1) My mother would rather I was a pauper than a dishonest person.
    2) I would rather die than betray my country.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    This American would use the subjunctive in the first sentence, rather than "rather I was."

    Also, while rather formal sounding, "My mother would rather have me a pauper than a thief" would work too. (I find "dishonest person" clumsy.)

    (Edited to correct to "subjunctive" above - apologies for the wrong word in the original post.)
    Last edited by Barb_D; 13-Apr-2017 at 12:31.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    I imagine Barb was thinking of the subjunctive, were​.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    The subjunctive form would be ...would rather I be...

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    #6

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The subjunctive form would be ...would rather I be...
    I would rather you were a clerk than a teacher.

    I would rather live in America than Somalia.

    I would prefer living in America than living in Somalia.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Also, while rather formal sounding, "My mother would rather have me a pauper than a thief" would work too.
    This works in formal BrE too. You could also use see.

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The subjunctive form would be ...would rather I be...
    Only if her preference were for you to become a pauper. If her preference were for you to be a pauper now, the form would be My mother would rather I were a pauper.

  9. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    Yes, I'm sorry about "subjective" rather than "subjunctive" - that was just a flat-out mistake from writing too quickly.

    I'd use "were" if we're talking about now, and "be" if we're talking about career options. (Yes, I chose that phrase a bit facetiously.)

    Exactly as Piscean says.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. teechar's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: My mother would rather me a pauper than be a dishonest person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    talking about career options.
    A fully qualified, highly experienced, certified pauper.

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