Skip to main content

Expressing preferences

We often use words like prefer, would prefer, would rather to talk or ask about preferences.
"I prefer living on my own."
"Would you prefer to see a movie or go to a club?"
"Would you rather  go shopping with me?"

Those expressions are quite different in meaning and this is why learners of English often find them challenging. So here is how we can separate them:

Difference in meaning:
We tend to use 'prefer' to talk generally about likes, dislikes, what we want.
“He prefers reading books.”
“I prefer going to the beach than going to a swimming pool.”

The expressions 'would prefer' and 'would rather', to be a little more specific.
“I would prefer to see him in person.”
“I would rather go home now.”

Difference in form:
Followed by a different verb form:

“I prefer living in a city.” (followed by the gerund; the '-ing' ending)
“I would prefer to be told the truth.” (followed by the infinitive; to+ the verb)
“Would you rather stay at a hotel?” (followed by the base form of the verb; the verb without 'to'.

Different prepositions to state the choice.

prefer, would prefer – go with 'to'
“I'd prefer living in a city to living in the country.”
“I would (I'd) prefer being alone to being with the wrong person”.

would rather – goes with 'than'
“I would (I'd) rather talk to him in person than call him on the phone.”


1. He 'd like to go to Canada whereas his wife_____________ go to Mexico.
2. Her husband______________ rent a house.
3. Mrs Martin______________ to stay in a hotel.
4. My sister would like to have fun on Bondi Beach but I would ______________to go on a cruise.
5. My wife would like to rent a house in New York but I would ________________camp in the desert.
6. My wife would like to visit a museum, but I would_____________ to go to Ayers Rock.
7. I would__________ become a scubadiver.
8. I would___________ not to become a computer programmer.
9. I would____________ buy this cake because I prefer the taste.
10. I would ____________not rent a house in the Outback.


Popular posts from this blog

Numbers 1-1000 (exercises)

Numbers 1-1000 1. Write the right number in each space twenty-eight three hundred and forty-five eight hundred and twenty-two seven hundred and thirty-five sixty-five one hundred seventy-three one thousand sixteen seventy nine hundred thirty-three
1.Write the numbers in words 760_____________________540 _____________________386 _____________________15  _____________________336 _____________________


Ово дело је лиценцирано под условима лиценцеCreative Commons Ауторство-Некомерцијално-Без прерада 3.0 Србија.

Fill in with  some or any: (Sometimes both are possible, depending on how you perceive the situation)
1.There are____apples in the fridge. 2.Is there____bank near here? I'm new and still wandering around the city. 3.There aren't _____oranges left! 4.Would you like____coffee? 5.Do you have____clue how to solve this problem? 6.I have____very interesting books, come and we can read together! 7.Tony was having ____ problems with his car, so he couldn't drive his child to the school. 8.She didn't have_____toys left to play with, so I borrowed her_____.
9.Can I have____salt in my salad, please? 10.They couldn't buy____roses for the teacher. It was too expensive! 11.My parents are usually busy, so they don't have____time left for me! 12.What an interesting story! Do yo have ____ more?

Used to/Get used to/Be used to

‘used to + infinitive’ and ‘be/get used to’
‘used to + infinitive’ and ‘be/get used to’ Students have difficulties in making distinction between used to + infinitive and be/get used to + ‘ing’ form because they look similar. As a matter of fact, they are totally different.

‘used to + infinitive’

Used to is for things that happened in the past and have no connectivity to present:

Peter used to smoke three cigarettes a day. My boyfriend used to drink a lot of coffee during sleepless nights. Sarah and her mother used to go out for a walk every day. Negative form is ( odrični oblik je) : didn't ( did not) use to: I didn't use to smoke before.
Question form is (upitni oblik je) : Did she (subject)  use to..? Did she use to drink a lot of coffee?

As you may guess you can not use 'used to' in the present. To talk about present habits we use the present simple and an adverb of frequency (usually, always, often, never, etc.)

e.g. I often eat at the Japanese restaurant in the city c…