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Hi everybody,

I know that the following are the correct ways to express our preferences (by using subjunctive):-

1. I'd rather you stayed home. (use of simple past tense after "would rather" for future actions)

2. I'd rather you hadn't gone to the party (use of past perfect tense after "would rather" for past unreal actions)

3. It's high time we started the project. (use of simple past tense after "It's high time" for future actions)

My question is, is it unnatural or even wrong to use other tenses in these cases as follows:-

4. I'd rather you stay home.

5. I'd rather you'll stay home.

6. I'd rather you don't go to the party.

7. I'd rather you haven't gone to the party.

8. It's high time we start the project.

And, if the above sentences (i.e. #4 to #8) are correct, do they still mean exactly the same thing as #1 to #3?

Could you help me with this?

Thanks.

Kathy
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Comments  
Kathy456Hi everybody,

I know that the following are the correct ways to express our preferences (by using subjunctive):-

1. I'd rather you stayed home. (use of simple past tense after "would rather" for future actions)

2. I'd rather you hadn't gone to the party (use of past perfect tense after "would rather" for past unreal actions)

3. It's high time we started the project. (use of simple past tense after "It's high time" for future actions)

My question is, is it unnatural or even wrong to use other tenses in these cases as follows:-

4. I'd rather you stay home. This is also used and refers to future action.

5. I'd rather you'll stay home. NO

6. I'd rather you don't go to the party. This is in use, as is "(you) didn't go" and "(you) not go". The reference in all three cases would be to the future.

7. I'd rather you haven't gone to the party. NO

8. It's high time we start the project. This is in use, but I think 'started' would be much more commonly used. Both would be references to future action.

And, if the above sentences (i.e. #4 to #8) are correct, do they still mean exactly the same thing as #1 to #3?

Could you help me with this?

Thanks.

Kathy
Thanks a lot, Yankee.

Kathy
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Hi Amy

4. I'd rather you stay home. This is also used and refers to future action.

I believe it should "
I'd rather you stayed home."

The verb is always in its bare infinitive form right after “I’d rather…”

I’d rather not talk about it…

I’d rather stay home than go to the boring baseball game.
Goodman

The verb is always in its bare infinitive form right after “I’d rather…”

I’d rather not talk about it…

I’d rather stay home than go to the boring baseball game.
Your sentences are correct. They mention only "I".
But "I'd rather you stay home" contains 'I' and 'you'.
I was taught at school that "I would rather stay home than go out" is incorrect.
I was told that if another person is mentioned, then the verb must be in the past tense.
So it should be "I'd rather you stayed home".
Have I been taught wrongly?
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With one person having the preference (I'd rather) that another person (you, he, ...) do or not do something, both bare infinitive (do / not do) and simple past (did, didn't do) are used. Personally, I can't even decide which I use more.

I'd rather you [go / went] with Kathy. She's too young to go by herself.
He would rather I [not continue / didn't continue] my research along those lines. It's not getting us any closer to the answer.


CJ
CalifJimWith one person having the preference (I'd rather) that another person (you, he, ...) do or not do something, both bare infinitive (do / not do) and simple past (did, didn't do) are used. Personally, I can't even decide which I use more.

I'd rather you [go / went] with Kathy. She's too young to go by herself.
He would rather I [not continue / didn't continue] my research along those lines. It's not getting us any closer to the answer.


CJ

I'm quoting from English Grammar In Use.

When you want someone else to do something, you can say I'd rather you did ... / I'd rather he did ... etc. We use the past in this structure but the meaning is present or future, not past.

Compare: I'd rather cook the dinner now.
I'd rather you cooked the dinner now. (not "I'd rather you cook")

"Shall I stay here?" "Well, I'd rather you came with us."
I'd rather you didn't tell anyone what I said.
"Do you mind if I smoke?" "I'd rather you didn't."

Is the above BrE usage?
Is the above BrE usage?
I don't know. Even though I'm American, I know a little about British usage, but not enough to answer this question. Note however the word can:

When you want someone else to do something, you can say ...

I would not take this as a prohibition on other ways of expressing the thought. If you got this from a section of the book which concentrates on the use of the simple past as a way of expressing wishes and preferences, then it's only natural that only that usage would be discussed in that section of the book.

We'll have to wait for further opinions -- hopefully from our BrE experts.

CJ
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