- Would rather/would sooner mean “prefer”. The short forms are: ’d rather/’d sooner
The syntax depends on the person who does the action:
Look at the following sentences:
I would rather go now
I would sooner go now
There are two actions in these sentences. First: someone prefers something. Second: someone goes
Who prefers? Me Who goes? Me
The same person prefers and the same person goes. When the person who prefers and the person who does the second action are the same, the second verb goes in bare infinitive= infinitive without to
- I’d rather you went now
I’d sooner you went now
Who prefers? Me Who goes? You
There are two people involved in these examples. When the person who prefers and the person who does the second action are different, the second verb goes in a past tense form.
(Technically some grammar books would classify this form as subjunctive but it looks the same as the past)
- When the time frame of the above situations changes, the tenses and the meaning change. If we want to talk about a situation in the past and express a preference about it, we are probably expressing regret because we cannot change the facts in the past. What is done is done. For example:
I parked my car in a non-parking zone last night. I got ticket and a fine.
Do I regret parking there? Big time! Still, there is nothing I can do to change the facts. I can express my regret my saying:
I’d rather I hadn’t parked there./I’d rather I had parked somewhere else./I’d rather I had found a better place to park ect
If my husband is the one who parked the car, I can say:
I’d rather he hadn’t parked there.
So when you talk about things that happened in the past and you regret them you use past perfect.
If you want to work on : ‘d rather, d’sooner, wish, you may want to go to the following link:
If you find the word sooner confusing in its use and you are wondering about other expressions like: no sooner than…etc, you may want to look at the following link: