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  1. enydia's Avatar

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    #1

    would rather

    Hello, Teachers.

    I'm very confused about the usage of the phrase 'would rather'.

    Please see the following 2 sentences.
    (1) I'd rather she set out to do the work now.
    (2) I'd rather you met her at the airport tomorrow morning.
    It seems that the two sentences use subjunctive mood.
    Does this imply that 'she' cannot 'set out to do the work now' and 'you' will not 'meet her at the airport tomorrow morning'?

    What's the difference between the following sentences?
    (3) I'd rather have left a note on her desk.
    (4) I'd rather left a note on her desk.
    (5) I'd rather I left a note on her desk.

    It would be very nice if you could give me some detailed explanation.

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia *^_^*

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hello, Teachers.

    I'm very confused about the usage of the phrase 'would rather'.

    Please see the following 2 sentences.
    (1) I'd rather she set out to do the work now.
    (2) I'd rather you met her at the airport tomorrow morning.
    It seems that the two sentences use subjunctive mood.
    Does this imply that 'she' cannot 'set out to do the work now' and 'you' will not 'meet her at the airport tomorrow morning'?

    What's the difference between the following sentences?
    (3) I'd rather have left a note on her desk.
    (4) I'd rather left a note on her desk.
    (5) I'd rather I left a note on her desk.

    It would be very nice if you could give me some detailed explanation.

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia *^_^*
    It seems that the two sentences use subjunctive mood.
    Yes, they do
    Does this imply that 'she' cannot 'set out to do the work now' and 'you' will not 'meet her at the airport tomorrow morning'?
    No. The meaning of "subjunctive" is often given as "contrary to fact". But it's really harder to pin down than that. When you say "I'd rather ..." then there is obviously some other proposition currently in force. You are suggesting an alternative and contrary proposition. That's what makes it subjunctive. Note you could also use "prefer" for "rather" here.

    What's the difference between the following sentences?
    (3) I'd rather have left a note on her desk.
    (4) I'd rather left a note on her desk.
    (5) I'd rather I left a note on her desk.

    4. and 5. are wrong. 3. sounds strange.
    It sounds strange to say you would rather have done something different.
    It would be better to say "I should have left a note on her desk" or "I wish I'd left a note on her desk".

    In speaking of someone else, you could say "I would have preferred he left a note on her desk". A stronger version would be "He should have left a note on her desk".
    Note it's stronger to say "He should have done ..." than "I should have done..." - because in the former, you're making a criticism of his actions. In the latter, you mean simply what you've written in 3.

  3. enydia's Avatar

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    #3

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It seems that the two sentences use subjunctive mood.
    Yes, they do
    Does this imply that 'she' cannot 'set out to do the work now' and 'you' will not 'meet her at the airport tomorrow morning'?
    No. The meaning of "subjunctive" is often given as "contrary to fact". But it's really harder to pin down than that. When you say "I'd rather ..." then there is obviously some other proposition currently in force. You are suggesting an alternative and contrary proposition. That's what makes it subjunctive. Note you could also use "prefer" for "rather" here.

    What's the difference between the following sentences?
    (3) I'd rather have left a note on her desk.
    (4) I'd rather left a note on her desk.
    (5) I'd rather I left a note on her desk.
    4. and 5. are wrong. 3. sounds strange.
    It sounds strange to say you would rather have done something different.
    It would be better to say "I should have left a note on her desk" or "I wish I'd left a note on her desk".

    In speaking of someone else, you could say "I would have preferred he left a note on her desk". A stronger version would be "He should have left a note on her desk".
    Note it's stronger to say "He should have done ..." than "I should have done..." - because in the former, you're making a criticism of his actions. In the latter, you mean simply what you've written in 3.
    Thank you for your explanation!

    I still have some questions.

    Why is (5) wrong while (1) and (2) are both correct?

    Is it necessary to use subjunctive mood in the clause after 'would rather'? I saw the following sentence in a grammar book.
    He had rather [would rather] she go with him.
    Is it correct? If it is, what's its difference from the following sentence.
    He had rather [would rather] she went with him.
    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Why is (5) wrong while (1) and (2) are both correct?

    Is it necessary to use subjunctive mood in the clause after 'would rather'? I saw the following sentence in a grammar book.
    He had rather [would rather] she go with him.
    Is it correct? If it is, what's its difference from the following sentence.
    He had rather [would rather] she went with him.
    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia
    (1) I'd rather she set out to do the work now.
    (2) I'd rather you met her at the airport tomorrow morning.
    (3) I'd rather have left a note on her desk.
    (4) I'd rather left a note on her desk.
    (5) I'd rather I left a note on her desk.

    5. is wrong for the same reason as I said 3. was wrong. You don't "rather" that you had done something different in the past. You "wish you had", or you "should have". I'll add that this assumes you had a choice. This is correct:
    "I would rather have left a note on her desk, but her door was locked." This would make 3. right. Now I realise why I said "3. sounds strange."

    Why is (5) wrong while (1) and (2) are both correct?
    1. and 2. are correct because they refer to the future. You can prefer (rather) an alternative action happen in the future, but not in the past once it's happened.
    "I would have rathered he did A than B" is correct. But here you are describing doing the "rathering" in the past; not "rathering" in the present about something done in the past.

    Is it necessary to use subjunctive mood in the clause after 'would rather'? I saw the following sentence in a grammar book.
    He had rather [would rather] she go with him.
    Is it correct?
    Yes this is correct. But we are getting into territory where usage doesn't always follow grammer.
    "I would rather she go with Jim" and "I would rather she went with Jim" are both heard.

    If it is, what's its difference from the following sentence.He had rather [would rather] she went with him.
    Usage. They mean the same. One uses the subjunctive which is becoming outmoded in places; the other doesn't.

    Note also you are making some very fine points here, and native speakers from other backgrounds might disagree on some of the details.

  5. enydia's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    (1) I'd rather she set out to do the work now.
    (2) I'd rather you met her at the airport tomorrow morning.
    (3) I'd rather have left a note on her desk.
    (4) I'd rather left a note on her desk.
    (5) I'd rather I left a note on her desk.

    5. is wrong for the same reason as I said 3. was wrong. You don't "rather" that you had done something different in the past. You "wish you had", or you "should have". I'll add that this assumes you had a choice. This is correct:
    "I would rather have left a note on her desk, but her door was locked." This would make 3. right. Now I realise why I said "3. sounds strange."

    Why is (5) wrong while (1) and (2) are both correct?
    1. and 2. are correct because they refer to the future. You can prefer (rather) an alternative action happen in the future, but not in the past once it's happened.
    "I would have rathered he did A than B" is correct. But here you are describing doing the "rathering" in the past; not "rathering" in the present about something done in the past.

    Is it necessary to use subjunctive mood in the clause after 'would rather'? I saw the following sentence in a grammar book.
    He had rather [would rather] she go with him.
    Is it correct?
    Yes this is correct. But we are getting into territory where usage doesn't always follow grammer.
    "I would rather she go with Jim" and "I would rather she went with Jim" are both heard.

    If it is, what's its difference from the following sentence.He had rather [would rather] she went with him.
    Usage. They mean the same. One uses the subjunctive which is becoming outmoded in places; the other doesn't.

    Note also you are making some very fine points here, and native speakers from other backgrounds might disagree on some of the details.
    Thank you for your explanation.

    I hope my questions below would be within a teacher's limits of patience.

    Are the following sentences correct?
    a) I'd rather I left a note on her desk now.
    b) I'd rather I had left a note on her desk, but her door was locked.
    BTW Does b) have the same meaning as I would rather have left a note on her desk, but her door was locked?

    I was told that the that-clause after prefer should use '(should) do' as a subjunctive. For example, I prefer that the job (should) be a little closer to my home.
    Is the example sentence grammatical and commonly-used?

    But I found the following two sentences in two dictionaries, which used another kind of subjunctive, not (should) do.
    c) I'd prefer that the job were a little closer to my home.
    d) I would prefer that you did not mention my name.
    Are the two sentences above grammatical? What's the difference between prefer and would prefer?

    What's the meaning of would have preferred? Does it refer to the future or the past? Does it need subjunctive in its that-clause?

    Thank you in advance!

    Enydia

  6. enydia's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: would rather

    Hi, Teachers.

    After consulting much grammar material, I'm even much more confused about the usage of prefer now.

    What's the difference between prefer, would prefer and would have preferred?

    How to determine the mood of the that-clause after them? indicative or subjunctive? If it's subjunctive, which form of subjunctive should be used, (should) do or did/have done?

    For example, which of the following is correct?
    (1.1) I prefer he goes with you.
    (1.2) I prefer he (should) go with you.
    (1.3) I prefer he went with you.
    (2.1) I would prefer he goes with you.
    (2.2) I would prefer he (should) go with you.
    (2.3) I would prefer he went with you.
    (3.1) I would have preferred he goes with you.
    (3.2) I would have preferred he (should) go with you.
    (3.3) I would have preferred he went with you.
    (3.4) I would have preferred he had gone with you.

    Looking forward to your help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post


    Thank you for your explanation.

    I hope my questions below would be within a teacher's limits of patience.

    Are the following sentences correct?
    a) I'd rather I left a note on her desk now.
    b) I'd rather I had left a note on her desk, but her door was locked.
    BTW Does b) have the same meaning as I would rather have left a note on her desk, but her door was locked?

    I was told that the that-clause after prefer should use '(should) do' as a subjunctive. For example, I prefer that the job (should) be a little closer to my home.
    Is the example sentence grammatical and commonly-used?

    But I found the following two sentences in two dictionaries, which used another kind of subjunctive, not (should) do.
    c) I'd prefer that the job were a little closer to my home.
    d) I would prefer that you did not mention my name.
    Are the two sentences above grammatical? What's the difference between prefer and would prefer?

    What's the meaning of would have preferred? Does it refer to the future or the past? Does it need subjunctive in its that-clause?

    Thank you in advance!

    Enydia
    Hmm, I could've sworn I answered this last night. It must have disappeared into a vortex!

    Are the following sentences correct?
    a) I'd rather I left a note on her desk now. No
    b) I'd rather I had left a note on her desk, but her door was locked. No
    BTW Does b) have the same meaning as I would rather have left a note on her desk, but her door was locked? Yes, they all mean you wished you'd left a note on her desk. There's no problem working out the meanings, but you want to say them in strange ways!

    I was told that the that-clause after prefer should use '(should) do' as a subjunctive. For example, I prefer that the job (should) be a little closer to my home. Yes, it should be subjunctive. You are suggesting a preference for a contrary to fact choice.
    Is the example sentence grammatical and commonly-used?
    A: "I would prefer that the job be a little closer to home". This would be more common.

    But I found the following two sentences in two dictionaries, which used another kind of subjunctive, not (should) do.
    c) I'd prefer that the job were a little closer to my home. OK, but I prefer mine
    d) I would prefer that you did not mention my name. Yes.
    Are the two sentences above grammatical? What's the difference between prefer and would prefer? Yes.
    "I'd (would) prefer" is more polite than "I prefer", and often with preferences, the person you're talking to might have the power to make your job closer to home.

    What's the meaning of would have preferred?
    "I would have preferred A" means "If I had had the choice (Past subjunctive), I would have preferred A.
    "If I had the choice (present subjunctive), I would prefer A.

    Does it refer to the future or the past? Past
    Does it need subjunctive in its that-clause? Yes

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, Teachers.

    After consulting much grammar material, I'm even much more confused about the usage of prefer now.

    What's the difference between prefer, would prefer and would have preferred?
    I've given them above

    How to determine the mood of the that-clause after them? indicative or subjunctive? If it's subjunctive, which form of subjunctive should be used, (should) do or did/have done?
    The mood is subjunctive

    For example, which of the following is correct?
    (1.1) I prefer he goes with you. X
    (1.2) I prefer he (should) go with you. Yes, if you omit "should"
    (1.3) I prefer he went with you. Yes
    (2.1) I would prefer he goes with you. X
    (2.2) I would prefer he (should) go with you. Yes, if you omit "should"
    (2.3) I would prefer he went with you. Yes
    (3.1) I would have preferred he goes with you. No
    (3.2) I would have preferred he (should) go with you. No
    (3.3) I would have preferred he went with you. No
    (3.4) I would have preferred he had gone with you. Yes.

    Looking forward to your help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia
    Me in green above

  9. enydia's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Me in green above
    Thank you very much, Raymott.

    What's the difference between the following sentence?
    I would prefer he go with you.
    I would prefer he went with you.

  10. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: would rather

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Me in green above
    On the subject of 'Yes, if you omit "should"'. This is presumably an Aust. English observation. In Br English the 'should' is fine.

    This is an example of what causes Enydia's confusion. There's no subject more contentious than the subjunctive. Even within a single flavour of English, there will be almost as many views as there are 'experts'. If you add to that a factor of N to represent different dialects...

    I just take the coward's way out and try to paraphrase in a way that avoids the subjunctive entirely. Whatever set of 'rules' you observe, you'll almost certainly be wrong in someone's view.

    b

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