Prefer and would rather

PREFER and WOULD RATHER : -Both these two usages have more or less similar expressions.  When we want to express the position of our interest in a comparative fashion or style, these usages become handy.  For example , suppose, we have more interest in something or in doing something than another alternative, these expressions can be conveniently used.

Prefer = like better

We can use ‘ Prefer to do’ and ‘Prefer doing’ to say what we prefer in general.  Now study the structural alternatives that can be used to express the essence of these usages.

(1)  Prefer something to something else.

(2)  Prefer doing something to doing something else

But prefer to do something rather than do something else.

Note:- A learner should give more emphasis on examples rather than grammatical rules.  Once you study a number of examples of a particular pattern in succession, you will begin to be thorough with the rules behind the usage.  When you are confident yourself with the usage , you go for further academic or grammatical interpretation of the rules.


  • I prefer tea to coffee.
  • He prefers walking to cycling.
  • He prefers to walk rather than go by car.
  • I prefer to live in the country.
  • I prefer living in the country.  I don’t like cities
  • She prefers to do something useful rather than sit idle.
  • She prefers cooking to stitching.
  • They prefer to drink milk rather than eat mangoes.

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