Can I say "rather+wanted" (past tense)

  1. I would rather want to make little modifications than make many modifications.
  • rather+want correct?(Simple present)
  • Can I say “rather+wanted” (past tense)
    While using Rather+Than - should I only use simple present (eg: rather+want)

Can I write: I rather want…(Here I didn’t use I +would+ rather.)
Which one is correct?

  1. I could + learned it.(I tell about my ability to learn english which is past - not present)
    is the above sentence correct.

  2. Is this correct - “I might have learned it two monthes ago” (might+have+learned)



You pose some interesting points. ‘Rather’ is a difficult word to pin down and you have to be careful what function you want it to perform. I’m not really happy with ‘I would rather want …’ because it doesn’t fit very well with ‘want’ and ‘would’ in the same sentence. I would suggest that it should read: ‘I would rather make …’ suggesting a preference because at the end of the sentence you have ‘than’. You can also use ‘rather’ to modify the idea contained in the verb that follows: I rather like the idea you have suggested indicates I do really want to I rather wanted suggests I did really want to … and I rather want to …suggests I do really want to …

In 2 you can say: I could have learned suggesting I was able to or It would have been possible for me to learn

In 3 The use of ‘might’ makes this more remote and suggests: Two months ago it was possible that I learned it but I’m not really sure - I can’t remember or It may have been possible but again there is some uncertainty.


Thank you very much Alan, for your reply.
COuld + past tense- could+learned (this is the past)
Eg: I could learned the lesson.
Here, i am not using “Have”.
----use of the above structure OK?

  1. I think - could= telling about the past action
  2. could=Politely asking others to do things.

Hi Suresh,

No, it is not grammatical to say “could learned”. “Could learn” is grammatically possible.

You can use “could” with the base form of a verb to talk about a general ability at a certain time in the past, for example:

  1. I could swim when I was 8.
  • That means that when I was 8 years old, I had the general ability to swim.
    You can also use “could” in polite requests. For example:
  1. Could you help me with my homework?
  • That basically means “Would it be possible for you to help me with my homework?”

Thank you very much Yankee. We have to learn a lot of things from the people of the US. One question i always have is, if we talk english with small mistakes, can you understand what we want to communicate to you. I mean, can you get the main point, even though the words are not perfect match.

Hi Suresh

Making small mistakes is not usually a problem when you talk to people in English.
Sometimes, however, a seemingly small error can lead to misunderstanding.
I think this is true in any language.