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Karl Marx
A doubt about: Would you rather....?

In a Grammar in Use lesson I found this doubt.

In an exercise I had to complete the sentences with a verb In the correct form.


Do you want me to fo now or would you rather I ____ here?

Do you want me to go out this evening or would you rather I ___ at home?

The anwers are: stayed for the first one, and stay for the second one, and I don't understand why. Can anybody explain this to me?

Jul 25, 2016 9:30 AM
Comments · 7

Usually the phrase "would rather" takes a past tense after it to convey an unreal, hypothetical or imaginary situation

For example "I'd rather you didn't do that" - it's an imaginary situation.It is like conditional sentence 2

"If I knew the answer I would tell you"(but I don't know the answer)

I would prefer to use past tense in both sentences you have given.

July 25, 2016

If you have a question, there's just something that you want to know. If you want an answer to something, such as 'What is the correct verb form?', you ask a question. This is not a doubt.


A doubt is a concern, or a feeling of lack of trust. It's often used in the plural (to 'have doubts' ) or as an uncountable noun (some/any/no doubt). If you have doubts, you are worried that something isn't true, or reliable, or good. Here are some examples:



July 25, 2016

You're welcome. By the way, your post is not a 'doubt' - it's just a question. This is a very common mistake made by speakers of Hispanic languages.

July 25, 2016

Yes, it would. I agree with Ruthi that 'stayed' would be preferable in both cases.

July 25, 2016
So stayed would be correct in both of them?
July 25, 2016
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Karl Marx
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language