This English lesson has 2 versions: 1) Video version 2) Text version. (below video)
We use the verb PREFER to say that we like something more than something else.
The structure is:
prefer noun phrase to noun phrase
I prefer coffee to tea.
(This means that I like coffee more than tea. Notice that we use the preposition “to” to separate the 2 things that we are comparing. The thing before the preposition “to” is the thing that we like the most.)
I prefer rice to pasta.
I prefer reading to writing.
(“reading” and “writing” are gerunds. A gerund is a verb acting as a noun. )
Mark prefers watching TV to listening to the radio.
would prefer + infinitive
The above structure describes present and future preferences. The infinitive form of a verb is: “to” + base form
I would prefer to go to New York.
Contracted form: I’d prefer to go to New York.
Mark: Let’s get a taxi.
Jane: I’d prefer to walk.
Jane: I’d prefer not to get a taxi.
Mark: Would you prefer to walk?
would prefer + infinitive + rather than + base form of verb
= to want to do one thing more than another thing. (in the present or future)
(“rather than” separates the 2 activities that we are comparing. The activity before “rather than” is the one we want to do the most.)
I would prefer to go to New York rather than go to Los Angeles.
Jane: I’d prefer to walk rather than get a taxi.
would prefer + object pronoun + infinitive
= to describe our preferences for the actions of another person (in the present or future)
Notice that we use the OBJECT pronouns (me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them) and NOT the subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they)
I would prefer him to drive.
I would prefer he to drive.
I would prefer her not to drive.
Would you prefer me to drive?
3 common mistakes with PREFER
“would prefer” is always followed by the INFINITIVE (“to” + base form):
I would prefer read.
I would prefer to read.
We use the preposition “to” when comparing our preference of 2 things:
I prefer coffee than tea.
I prefer coffee to tea.
We use “rather than” to compare 2 things that we would prefer to do:
I’d prefer to walk than get a taxi.
I’d prefer to walk rather than get a taxi.
I want to learn more phrasal verb
Useful information with good examples. Thank you
explained very clearly. Thank you
Can I say
“He prefers to run rather than to swim.”?
You should say:
He prefers to run rather than swim.
How can I use “prefer” at the beginning of the sentence?
Luz mary says
I prefer John not to know about this conversation?