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Hi everyone,

I've searched for some grammatical information about would rather in Google search engine for a long time, and I haven't found what I need. So, I hope I can get an urgent help for the following:

I know how to use ( would rather ) in terms of expressing present and future preferences. But we if we wanted to express a past preference using WOULD RATHER.

For example " I wanted my friend, Olivia, to stay with me last night, but she insisted to leave."

Which one is possible to be said in such a situation?

" I would rather have her stayed with me last night"

or

" I would have rather she stayed with me last night"

or

" I would rather that she had stayed with me"

Which one is correct?

In the daily spoken langauge, what would Americans or British people use if they want to express a past preference ? Do the use the same( one of the above), or there is another way to say that??
Thanks a lot
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Which one is possible ...?

" I would rather have her stayed with me last night" No!
or " I would have rather she stayed with me last night" Yes.
or " I would rather that she had stayed with me" Yes. (Probably the best choice.)

Wordy though it is, even
I would have rather that she had stayed with me is possible.
And some people (Don't imitate them!) say rathered in the past, treating rather as a verb!
CJ
Comments  
This is my take:
The use of "would rather" is not restricted by time. In certain aspects, it contains a conditional element as well.
Here is some info. Hope that helps your question.

Rather than and would rather

Rather than is normally used in parallel structures: for example with two adjectives, adverbs, nouns, infinitives or -ing forms. When the main clause has a to-infinitive, rather than is normally followed by an infinitive without to. An -ing form is also possible.
  • I would prefer to leave now rather than wait.
  • You ought to admit your crime rather than defend it.
  • I would prefer to go in August rather than in July.
  • I decided to write rather than phone/phoning. (NOT …than to phone)
Would rather
Would rather means 'would prefer to'. It is followed by an infinitive without to.
  • Would you rather stay here or go home? (=Would you prefer to stay here or go home.)
Would rather + subject + past tense
We can use would rather to say that one person would prefer another or others to do something. We use a special structure with a past tense.
  • Don’t come today, I would rather you came tomorrow. (=I would prefer you to come tomorrow.)
  • I would rather you posted this letter. (= I would like you to post this letter.)
To talk about past actions, a past perfect tense is possible
<EDITED by mod to credit your source .>
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thanks Goodman for these information.They really help me a lot understand this grammatical rule.

I have some further questions if you don't mind
GoodmanThis is my take:
The use of "would rather" is not restricted by time. In certain aspects, it contains a conditional element as well.
Here is some info. Hope that helps your question.

Rather than and would rather

  • I would prefer to leave now rather than wait.
  • Can I change the above statement to this form, in which it gives me the same meaning:
  • I would rather leave now than wait. ( is it correct?)

  • We can use would rather to say that one person would prefer another or others to do something. We use a special structure with a past tense.
    • Don’t come today, I would rather you came tomorrow. (=I would prefer you to come tomorrow.)
    • In the above sentence, why do we use the past tense to refer to a future preference? Does the meaning change if we use a verb in the simple form?
    • Such as: I'd rather you come hear tomorrow.( is it correct?)


    • To talk about past actions, a past perfect tense is possible

      I would rather that she had stayed with me.

      <EDITED by mod to credit your source .>

hi CJ,

Thanks so much for answering
CalifJimAnd some people (Don't imitate them!) say rathered in the past, treating rather as a verb!


That sounds nice!!

CJ

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
    • I would prefer to leave now rather than wait.
    • Can I change the above statement to this form, in which it gives me the same meaning:
    • I would rather leave now than wait. ( is it correct?)

      Yes, you can. You can also rephrase it as "I would rather not wait"
  • Such as: I'd rather you come hear tomorrow.( is it correct?)
    No, it sounds odd but "came" correct. As I mentioned earlier, this is the conditional element.
    In this usage, the correct form s past tesne of the verb.


It should be I would rather you didn't leave.... In meaning the two are the same to me, though 'I wish' can sound more critical. ...www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/35720-would-rather-wish.html - 44k -
DOC]

Conditionals and If Sentences

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The meaning of these connectors is similar to that of provided or if. They are used in informal or .... I would rather you didn’t smoke in my office. ...

" i would rather have her stay with me last night" correct
Anonymous" i would rather have her stay with me last night" correct
Hi Anon

No, that is not correct. Please read CalifJim's post earlier in this thread.
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