She'd rather be/was/were

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Tadeo, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Tadeo Senior Member

    Español (México)
    Good afternoon!

    I was wondering if someone could give me some advice regarding the following:

    In a previous post I asked about the usage of I'd rather and the verb to be, so according to the answers:

    I'd rather be in France: Preferiría estar en Francia.


    She'd rather be in France: (Ella) Preferiría estar en Francia. Right?

    But the idea I wish to convey is:

    (Yo)Preferiría que ella estuviera aquí.

    My attempts:

    1) I'd rather she be here. (Sounds weird, doesn't it?)
    2) I'd rather she was here.
    3) I'd rather she were here.

    The way I see it, 2 and 3 seem the correct structuresI still hesitate about the form of the verb was/ were, I'd use, although were(subjunctive) since it is expressing a wish/contrary-to-fact situation but I don't know if that is correct or not.

    I'd appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.
  2. SerinusCanaria3075

    SerinusCanaria3075 Senior Member

    United States
    México, D.F. (Spanish)
    I would prefer if she were here.
    I would rather prefer that she were here.

    Rather no siempre es necesario, sólo cuando quieres comparar o dar otra opción.

    She'd rather be home than at work = Le gustaría (preferiría) más bien estar en casa que en el trabajo.
    She was rather annoying = Era bastante fastidiosa.
  3. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    You're absolutely right, Tadeo:D

    I'd rather she was here/I'd rather she were here, depending on whether you want to use the subjunctive or not.

    The subjunctive were is more formal except in the context of the more-or-less set phrase "if I were you". The indicative was is used every day in informal speech, but some people still see it as incorrect.

    All the best!

  4. Tadeo Senior Member

    Español (México)
    Thank you for your answers SerinusCanaria3075 and Loob, I just read your replies (My PC was broken so I haven't been able to check them before.), that was just what I was looking for.

    Nice to hear from you Loob!

    Thanks again!
  5. miklo3600

    miklo3600 Senior Member

    English-United States
    There are a few different ways to express this.

    I'd rather she were here. (were=subjunctive, which in English is disappearing.)

    I would prefer she were here.

    You will hear "I would rather she was here." It is commonly accepted in English, but the subjunctive were is still correct.

    Prefería estar en España :)
  6. estefanos Senior Member

    English - USA

    I have to say that I disagree. My perspective is western AE. As I see it, If the meaning of the sentence is subjunctive, then it's about the form of the verb.

    "If I were you" is a set phrase that's almost universally used. "Wish you were here" is another.

    In AE usage, the was/were distinction is something of a class indicator; it's a clue as to family, education, profession, etc. Furthermore, my observation is that even people who say "was" consider "were" to be better.

    I had a conversation about this very thing just two days ago. My friend, a waiter (so much for posh-only) commented on a commonly heard phrase: "If I was rich...". He laughed and said that anyone who said it that way obviously never would be.

    Having said all this, I must agree with Loob that "was" is very commonly heard. I would advise against it in writing, though, and in any situation where you might want to appear educated.


Share This Page