Would rather with different "tails"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Ivan_I, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Ivan_I Senior Member

    Russian
    This topic has been discussed a lot. But not all nuances have been covered. at least I want teaching.

    1) I would rather you cook(ed) dinner. (I know the "cook/cooked difference")
    I wonder whether this sentence can apply to (at least) two timings.

    I would rather you cook(ed) dinner tonight.
    (OK?)
    I would rather you cook(ed) dinner every day. (OK?)

    2a) I would rather you were cooking at the moment (instead of doing something else).
    2b) I would rather you be cooking at the moment (instead of doing something else).

    In theory, 2a and 2 b should work. Do they work in practice?
     
  2. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    No: (2a) is fine, but in BE at least, (2b) is an incorrect use of the present subjunctive which has been discussed in this previous thread:
    I would rather he DO that

    :)
     
  3. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    In AE, I have no problem with 2a or 2b. Both sound natural in AE.
     
  4. Ivan_I Senior Member

    Russian
    As for the sentences 1? Are my assumptions correct?
     
  5. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Yes, in the absence of any context it could refer to any time: for example it could mean "I'd rather you cooked dinner instead of going down the pub with your mates". :)
     
  6. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Yes, but 2b is an unusual sentence.

    The negative sounds more ordinary to me, but it says the opposite:

    I would rather you not be cooking at the moment.
     

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