the use of would rather

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BrunaBC

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Hi,

I'd appreciate if a native speaker could tell me whether the sentence below is natural or not.

Jane's father would rather she went to a better university.

I would say: Her father would like her to go to a better university.

Thank you.
 

5jj

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Jane's father would rather she went to a better university.

I would say: Her father would like her to go to a better university.
Both of these are correct English, but they don't have exactly the same meaning. The first is closer to 'Her father would prefer her to go to a better university' than to your version.
 
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BrunaBC

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Thank you 5jj, I see the difference in meaning. But is this use of "would rather" usual?
It sounds quite strange -> He would rather you didn't go.
 

5jj

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Thank you 5jj, I see the difference in meaning. But is this use of "would rather" usual?
It sounds quite strange -> He would rather you didn't go.
It's perfectly natural in my variety of English.
 

emsr2d2

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It's very natural in BrE, certainly.

I'd rather you didn't do that.

Do you want to go to the cinema tonight?
I'd rather not.

Would you like to go to a One Direction concert?
I'd rather boil my head in oil!
 

billmcd

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Both of these are correct English, but they don't have exactly the same meaning. The first is closer to 'Her father would prefer her to go to a better university' than to your version.

5jj: Don't you think BrunaBC's, original sentence should be, "..... would rather she go ....."
 

Nehushtan

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Re: The use of “would rather”

The original sentence is correct (“… would rather she went …”).
 

emsr2d2

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Re: The use of “would rather”

When I first read the original sentence, I thought about pointing out that we also use "... would rather she go ..." but then I thought about how often I hear that compared to how often I hear (and use) "... would rather she went ..." and decided against it.

He would rather she went to university.
He would rather she go to university.
 

Nehushtan

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Re: The use of “would rather”

Some idiomatic constructions require the past tense even if the event described has not occurred yet. “Would rather …” is one example; another example is “it’s time …”: “It’s time she went to bed.”
 

Tdol

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5jj: Don't you think BrunaBC's, original sentence should be, "..... would rather she go ....."

In BrE, the present subjunctive is on life support.
 

billmcd

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Hi,

I'd appreciate if a native speaker could tell me whether the sentence below is natural or not.

Jane's father would rather she went to a better university.

I would say: Her father would like her to go to a better university.

Thank you.
Posts From the Past
(TDOL Administrator) Rather:
I would rather go tomorrow. (talking about myself)
I would rather you went tomorrow. (talking about you- when you have a subjectafter 'rather', use the past tense). You will occasionally hear people usingthe present, but it is more common to use the past.

Curmudgeon (Moderator) They both mean the same.Both are acceptable in conversation.

Casiopea (VIP Member) Again, the Grammar rule is "would rather"[someone else] + past tense. It's a wish, a desire, akin to the subjunctive, so"would rather you took". But . . . language changes, and "wouldrather you take" is a sign of that. I plead guilty to being a part time member of the "Language Changes Society"(billmcd).
 

Tdol

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I plead guilty to accepting that other people say it. :up:
 

Mr_Ben

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Is "if he had his druthers, she'd go to a better university" strictly AmE?

His druthers = he'd rather
My druthers = I'd rather
 

probus

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It does not appear in the British National Corpus. Would you agree with me that even in current AmE druthers is only used jocularly or possibly to portray some rare and remote dialect?
 
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