Grammar Patterns

Phrasal modals

MODAL inf than/as inf

The phrasal modal is followed by the bare infinitive of another verb, than, and the bare infinitive of another verb. In the case of would just as soon, as is used instead of than. The phrasal modal and the two infinitives form co-ordinated verb groups.
 Phrasal modalinfinitivethan/asinfinitive
SubjectVerb...CompletiveConjunction...VerbCompletive
Iwould ratherdie thansurrender. 
Hewould just as soondance aseat. 
Theywould soonerbuysweetsthaneata proper meal.
This pattern is used with phrasal modals which indicate what someone prefers.
I would rather be honest with people than mislead them that there is going to be some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The average villain today would just as soon kill you as look at you.
I would sooner give up sleep than miss my evening class.
  • would rather
  • would just as soon
  • would sooner
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