Usage of would rather


Is this sentence grammatically correct?

"I'd rather he be angry than grumpy."

But as far as I know, past tense verbs follow the 'would rather' phrase, so I am really confused now.

ex) I'd rather you went home now.

Could you help me out with this issue. Thank you so much and take good care.

asked Jan 30 '13 at 04:25 Hans Contributor

I'd rather you went home now . this is correct grammatically because of the pronoun (you)here we use past simple.

re7abAug 27 '16 at 09:03

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5 answers


You are right.  Would rather phrase is always followed by past tense verbs.


I will give you two more examples.

I'd rather you went accompanied than alone.

I'd rather you didn't come home too late.

link answered Jan 30 '13 at 04:41 sanjay Expert

You can also say, I'd rather fish than hunt.

sanjayJan 30 '13 at 04:43

It is not true that we always use the Past Simple after 'would rather'. The only time when we use the past tense after 'would rather' is when there is a change of subject.


We would rather leave now (infinitive - We are talking about our time of leaving)I’d rather they left now (Past Simple - I am talking about their time of leaving)

Paul HendersonOct 24 '13 at 03:47


re7abAug 27 '16 at 09:10

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When we have the floowing sentence:

My friend has gone to Spain I would rather he had stayed here. OR  I would rather he has tayed here.

which one is correct?

link answered May 14 '16 at 02:39 SANDRO New member

The two correct .would rather + past simple to express the present and future time and would rather + past perfect to express past action.

kuchphilinJun 06 '16 at 00:53

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The first sentence is correct.

link comment answered Jul 30 '16 at 09:06 Katherine Koh New member

There's something to point out: [Would rather + past perfect] is for wishes about the past referring to people other than the subject. For instance: I (subject)'d rather YOU (another person) hadn't gone to Italy; I would have preferred Spain. Now, for THE SUBJECT THEMSELF, you use  Would rather + present perfect... or in the negative [would rather not + present perfect] For instance: I'd rather not have gone to Italy instead of Spain. (Me, talking about myself) She'd rather have said yes when he asked her for marriage (She didn't accept the proposal and now she repents)  

link comment answered Oct 05 '16 at 20:43 Jonatan Carminati New member

In Big Bang Theory S03E20, the following dialogue takes place:
- Although now that I think of it, he asked me not to tell you that.
- I'll pretend I didn't hear it.
- I'd rather you pretend I didn't say it.

So this is not entirely correct and it should be "I'd rather you pretended I didn't say it."?

link comment answered Jan 01 at 13:16 Tullinge New member

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