English as a Second Language/sentences

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Question
1.
Be he ever so stubborn, I will do my best to convince him.
No matter how stubborn he is, I will do my best to convince him.

Do both mean the same?

2.
The concert on Friday night was a disaster. I would rather I had stayed home watching TV that night.

John asked me to join him for the concert on Friday night, but I’d rather stay home and watch TV.

(1.)What’s the difference between the two usages of “would rather”?
(2.)In the first sentence, should I say “I would rather I had stayed home and watched TV that night”?

3.
I would rather I had stayed home and watched TV that night.
I wish I had stayed home and watched TV that night.

Do both have the same meaning?

4.
The economic recession shows no sign of improving, so it is high time we made every effort to live in an economical way.

(1.)I wonder why we must use the past tense in the clause after “it is high time”?
(2.)Does the sentence mean the same if I say “it is time that we make every effort to live….” or “it is time to make every effort to live…”?

Answer
Hello again Oppo,

hope you are well.

1.
a) Be he ever so stubborn, I will do my best to convince him.
b) No matter how stubborn he is, I will do my best to convince him.

Do both mean the same?

a) not sure where this sentence comes from but it sounds very odd to me, so I can't really tell
you if a) and b) mean the same, as I can't figure out the correct meaning of a)

I see no good reason for the use of the subjunctive “be” here. The subjunctive is used to emphasize urgency or importance, and there are certain expressions that warrant the use of the subjunctive…I don’t think that’s the case here though. (see the mini tutorial below on the use of the subjunctive)

http://www.englishpage.com/minitutorials/subjunctive.html

2.
a) The concert on Friday night was a disaster. I would rather I had stayed home watching TV that night.
b) John asked me to join him for the concert on Friday night, but I’d rather stay home and watch TV.

(1.)What’s the difference between the two usages of “would rather”?
(2.)In the first sentence, should I say “I would rather I had stayed home and watched TV that night”?

(1) a) would rather here means you're sorry you went, you might have been better off staying at home watching TV (past unreal action)
b) would rather here means you are considering declining John's concert invitation (in the future)

(2) “I would rather I had stayed home and watched TV that night”? is correct, but so is “I would rather I had stayed home watching TV that night.”

3.
a) I would rather I had stayed home and watched TV that night.
b) I wish I had stayed home and watched TV that night.

Do both have the same meaning?

Yes, they both mean the same thing.

4.
The economic recession shows no sign of improving, so it is high time we made every effort to live in an economical way.

(1.)I wonder why we must use the past tense in the clause after “it is high time”?
(2.)Does the sentence mean the same if I say “it is time that we make every effort to live….” or “it is time to make every effort to live…”?

(1) It’s (high) time is followed by an unreal past. So when you want to say that now is the right time to do something you, in English you can use “it’s (high) time + past tense".

(2) You can use “it’s (high) time that we make every effort” or “it’s time to make every effort” but it’s the use of past tense after “it’s (high) time that has become the ‘norm’ in English.

“It’s high time we made every effort” is most likely the result of ellipsis (words have been left out) – the original statement might have actually been worded like: “It’s high time we should have made every effort” but in time, things were made shorter.

Please feel free to follow up if you need more help.
Looking forward to hearing from you again.

Best regards,

English as a Second Language

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