- 1. Present Subjunctive
Examples: a. I wish she were here. [fact: She isn’t here]
b. If only they were my friends. [Fact: They aren’t my friend]
c. I would rather you told me the news. [fact: You don’t tell me the news]
d. He behaves as if he were the owner of the hotel. [=He isn’t the owner]
- 2. Past Subjunctive
Examples: a. I wish she had been here. [Fact: She wasn’t here]
b. If only he hadn‘t asked me. [Fact: he asked me]
c. She would rather he had been at home with her yesterday.
[Fact: He wasn’t at home with her yesterday]
d. She stared at me as though she hadn‘t known me.
[Fact: She knew me]
*Would rather / sooner; to express preference
I would rather go = I prefer to go
He would rather listen to others than talk himself. (without ‘to’ after than)
- When the person who expresses the preference is not the subject of (he action which follows, we use:
Would prefer + O + to infinitive Verb, or
Would rather/sooner + S + past subjunctive
She wants to fly but I’d rather she went by train.
(or I’d prefer her to go by train)