Do you prefer ‘rather’? Or would you rather ‘prefer’?

Rather - Prefer

Do you prefer ‘rather’? Or would you rather ‘prefer’?

“would rather” and “would prefer” are used to express our preference (now), and mean the exact same thing. They are however, used a little different.

"would rather" - "'d rather"

We went jogging yesterday, today I would rather go swimming. / I’d rather go swimming

would rather + infinitive without to
I’d rather have coffee

would rather . . . than​
It’s very early in the day – I​‘d​ ​rather​ have a coffee, than​ a beer

Past tense - would rather​ 

when we speak about other people’s actions, even though that action may be in the present or future

I‘d rather ​you ate some fruit, instead of junk and sweets all the time.
I‘d rather she started cooking, she’s been watching TV all day.

"would prefer" - "'d prefer" ​

We went jogging yesterday, today I would prefer to go swimming. / I‘d prefer to go swimming.

would prefer + to + infinitive OR noun
I’d prefer ​to have coffee
I’d prefer coffee (noun, no verb)

would prefer . . . rather than​ (nouns)
would prefer . . .
 ​instead of​ (nouns)
It’s very early in the day – I​’d​ ​prefer​ a coffee, rather than​ a beerIt’s very early in the day – I‘d prefer a coffee, instead of a beer.

would prefer . . . rather than​ (verbs)
would prefer . . .  
instead of​ (verbs)

It’s very early in the day – I​’d​ ​prefer​ to have a coffee, rather than​ a beer
It’s very early in the day – I’d prefer to have a coffee, instead of a beer.

General preferences use prefer OR would rather  ***not would prefer***

Prefer and would rather have the same meaning

I prefer music to films.
would rather sing than dance.

After ​would rather​ we use the ​infinitive without to​

I’​d rather use​ a keyboard than write with a pen.​ 
I’​d rather go on holiday than stay here all Summer.

After ​prefer​ we use the verb in the ​-ing​ form.

I ​prefer using​ a keyboard to writing with a pen.
I ​prefer going on holiday than staying here all Summer. ​ 

We say ​prefer . . . to​, but ​would rather . . . than​

I ​prefer​ walking ​to​ driving.  
I’​d rather​ walk ​than​ drive.

hate, like, love and prefer with an -ing form or with a to-infinitive:

hate, like, love and prefer with an -ing form or with a to-infinitive:

I hate to see food being thrown away.
I love going to the cinema.
I prefer listening to the news on the radio than watching it on TV.
He prefers not to wear a tie to work.

In American English, the forms with to-infinitive are much more common than the -ing form.

The small difference between the two forms:

-ing form emphasises the action or experience and suggests (non)enjoyment

I like making jam.
He likes telling jokes.
They don’t like sitting for too long.
We prefer walking to driving.

to-infinitive gives more emphasis to the results of the action or event and expresses habits or preferences.

I like to make jam every year.
I prefer to sort out my tasks first.
If you prefer not to go hiking there are some easy trials to walk

Now you've learned this; Do you prefer 'rather'? Or would you rather 'prefer'?

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