Grammar Patterns

Phrasal modals

MODAL that

The phrasal modal is followed by a that-clause. The phrasal modal by itself is the verb group, and the that-clause is a new clause, with its own structure.
 Phrasal modalthat-clause
Iwould ratherthat the theory was stated.
I'd soonerwe said it.
This pattern is used to indicate what someone would like to happen.
Most of what he's marked on the printout has behind it the opinion: I would rather that the broadcasters had not said this.
In the case of would just as soon and would sooner, the that-clause never begins with the word that.
I'd just as soon you put that thing away.
I'd sooner he grinned and bore it. He can have a two month rest in the summer.
In this pattern the that-clause is often co-ordinated with another clause using than or as.
The police would rather you played safe than ended up being sorry.
  • would rather
  • would just as soon
  • would sooner
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