Expressing Preferences.

We often use words like prefer, would prefer, would rather to talk or ask about preferences.

We use prefer when we talk about general likes and dislikes.

We use would prefer and would rather when we talk about specific choices in particular situations.

 Prefer + “-ing” or noun

Would prefer + to infinitive or noun

                      Would rather + “bare infinitive”

Structures to state preference

I prefer living/ to live on my own.

I prefer chocolate ice-cream.

I would prefer to go to the cinema.

I would prefer a beach holiday.

I’d rather go home now.

If the verb after prefer is in the negative, use the infinitive with to.

He would prefer not to drive at night.

Different prepositions to state the choice.

Prefer + “ing” +to + “ing” (general preference)

I’d prefer living in the country to living in a city.

I prefer vanilla to strawberry ice cream

I would prefer + “to infinitive”+rather than + “bare infinitive” (specific reference)

It’s such nice weather – I’d prefer to sit in the garden rather than watch TV.

Would rather + “bare inf”+than+ “bare inf” ( specific reference)

I would (I’d) rather talk to him in person than call him on the phone.

Check your understanding as you match the questions below with suitable endings and practice having a conversation using these words

Do you prefer …..?                            Would you prefer to …?                       Would you rather ….?

Here is an example.

texting or talking on the phone? Why?

Q) Do you prefer texting or talking on the phone? Why?

A ) I prefer talking on the phone because it’s more personal than texting. Having a conversation on the phone is unique every time; besides, it is quicker because you do not have to wait for an answer.

Now it is your turn to practice.

Do you prefer …..?                           Would you prefer to …?             Would you rather ….?

  1. to go on a package tour or a cruise? Why?
  2. watching a film at home or at the cinema? Why?
  3. being a home-loving person or a party-loving person?  Why?
  4. go on holiday with your friends or with your family? Why?
  5. to work at home or in an office? Why?
  6. be an only child or have brothers and sisters? Why?
  7. being good-looking and poor or being ugly and rich?
  8. to live in the past or in the future?
  9. living with no mobile phone or living with no friends?
  10. find your perfect job or find the love of your dreams?
  11. know every time someone lies to you or has everyone believe everything you say?
  12. Taking care of a cat or taking care of a dog?

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