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Hi teachers ,
I know that we have the construction : WOULD RATHER + SUBJECT+ PAST TENSE :
I would rather he went to meet Mr Brown now.
Can I use WOULD PREFER the same way?i.e.Can I say" I would prefer he went to meet Mr Brown now." instead?

By the way ,I see these sentences on the Internet :

a/They would rather my husband not come with me for a holiday.
Why don't they say' They would rather my husband did not come with me for a holiday.'?

b/The Pentagon said it would prefer that the withdrawal plan and the education benefits not be considered with the war funding.
Why don't they say'it would prefer that the withdrawal plan and the education benefits would not be considered /were not considered with the war funding.'?

b/He would prefer she stop calling him "Pacman"
Why don't they say'He would prefer she stopped calling him "Pacman"?

Thank you in advance
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Analysing subjunctives is not my greatest strength, so I HOPE that the following explanation is roughly correct!

(I edited just after posting to correct a typo)
TuongvanCan I use WOULD PREFER the same way?i.e.Can I say" I would prefer he went to meet Mr Brown now." instead?
"I would prefer he..." is not a form of words that comes very naturally to me (I would usually say "I would prefer it if he went to meet Mr Brown now.") -- but others may differ. If you do use "I would prefer he...", then strictly speaking I think it should be "I would prefer he go to meet Mr Brown" (this is the subjunctive, see below). The problem is that this sounds rather old-fashioned and stilted (to me), and I'm guessing that this perceived awkwardness influences some people to write "I would prefer he went" instead.
Tuongvanb/The Pentagon said it would prefer that the withdrawal plan and the education benefits not be considered with the war funding.
Why don't they say'it would prefer that the withdrawal plan and the education benefits would not be considered /were not considered with the war funding.'?
"not be considered" is the subjunctive form, which, to quote from Wikipedia, is "a verb mood that ... is typically used in dependent clauses to express wishes, commands, emotion, possibility, judgment, necessity, or statements that are contrary to fact at present." "Prefer" is one of the verbs that it is used with. Your example with "would not be considered" is unnatural. "were not considered" seems more plausible, and, to be honest, I'm not sure if it's technically correct or not. But anyway, with that form of words I think I would say "would prefer it if the withdrawal plan and the education benefits were not considered with the war funding".
Tuongvanb/He would prefer she stop calling him "Pacman"
Why don't they say'He would prefer she stopped calling him "Pacman"?
Same reason as above: subjunctive.
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Subjunctive.
to be:
Present affirmative:
I be / you be / he, she, it be / we be / you be / they be
Present negative:
I not be / you not be / he, she, it not be / we not be / you not be / they not be
Past affirmative (negative):
I were (not) / you were (not) / he, she, it were (not) / we were (not) / you were (not) / they were (not)

to come:
Present affirmative:
I come / you come / he, she, it come / we come / you come / they come
Present negative:
I not come / you not come / he, she, it not come / we not come / you not come / they not come
Past affirmative:
I came / you came / he, she, it came / we came / you came / they came
Past negative:
I didn't come / you didn't come / he, she, it didn't come / we didn't come / you didn't come / they didn't come
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You can use any subjunctive after would rather or would prefer.
I would [rather / prefer] (that) he [go / not go / went / didn't go] to meet Mr. Brown.
I would [rather / prefer] (that) my husband [come / not come / came / did not come] with me for a holiday.
The Pentagon would [rather / prefer] (that) the plan [be / not be / were / were not] considered together with war funding.
He would [rather / prefer] (that) she [stop / stopped] calling him "Pacman".

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I have no scientific evidence for it, but I believe the present subjunctive tenses occur more often with prefer, and the past subjunctive tenses occur more often with rather. Nevertheless, you will hear these in various combinations almost indiscriminately.

CJ
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I would prefer you not [to] see your friends today.
I would prefer her not [to] see her friends today.
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