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.
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First Conditional

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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:

STRUCTURE

The structure of these sentences are the same except for one
small difference:

Would Rather is followed by a base verb
Would 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:

Alex:
Would you rather stay home and cook dinner or go out?
Betty:                
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?
Alex:               
I would prefer to stay in, but we can go out if you would like.
Betty:                  
That would be nice.  What type of restaurant would you like to
go to?
Alex:                
I'd prefer to go somewhere quiet.
Betty:                
Really?  Not me.  I would rather go somewhere fun, maybe
even with some live music.
Alex:                
But I thought you were tired?
Betty:                
I am, but not too tired to have some fun.
Alex:                
Well, I'd prefer not to, but…..OK.
Practice rather and prefer with these exercises:

Rather/Prefer Lesson

Rather/Prefer Test
Rather/Prefer Test 2
Grammar Lessons