What is the difference between following sentences :
Eric would rather that you not had gone to the conference with him yesterday.
Eric would rather that you had not gone to the conference with him yesterday.
As per the book, both constructions are correct but it's not clear what is the difference between intended meaning of both.
Wow...This is full of interesting little points. First, the setup is more complex than what you would typically see on the GMAT. You should be using a conditional perfect tense in a subjunctive mood, but the GMAT sticks with simple tenses and then mixes in some past/present perfect or subjunctive. Also, Idiomatically we wouldn't use rather in the this past conditional tense. You would be better off using preferred, which very commonly is used in the past tense.
You sentence would really be stated as:
Eric would have preferred that you not go the conference. (Conditional past - would have preferred; subjunctive - not go)
That said, you seemed to have a question about the placement of not in the previous example, which was erroneous. I can't think of another potential placement for "not" in the revised example. Do you have another example that might demonstrate your question?
Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah
Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile