Rather and Prefer are words used to show a choice from different options. The lesson below shows you how to use rather and prefer properly in English. You can see the tests at the bottom of the page.
Let’s start with some examples:
- Would you rather eat pizza or pasta?
- I would rather eat pizza.
- Would you prefer to eat pizza or pasta?
- I would prefer to eat pizza.
Now, let’s look at the structure:
The structure of these sentences are the same except for one small difference: rather is followed by a base verb and prefer is followed by an infinitive.
Subject + Would + Rather + Base Verb
- I would rather live in a warm country.
- I would rather go to a different restaurant.
Subject + Would + Prefer + To + Verb
- I would prefer to live in a warm country.
- She would prefer to meet on Monday.
Not comes before the verb with both rather and prefer.
- I would rather not go to work today.
- I would prefer not to play a game.
Take a look at this conversation to see some examples of would rather and would prefer:
Would you rather stay home and cook dinner or go out?
I’d rather go out. I am pretty tired today, so I don’t want to cook. What about you? Would you rather stay in or go out?
I would prefer to stay in, but we can go out if you would like.
That would be nice. What type of restaurant would you like to go to?
I’d prefer to go somewhere quiet.
Really? Not me. I would rather go somewhere fun, maybe even with some live music.
But I thought you were tired?
I am, but not too tired to have some fun.
Well, I’d prefer not to, but…..OK.
Are you ready to try the tests? Click on the links below to check your understanding of rather and prefer:
You can also practice rather and prefer with this logic activity: