April L.

asked • 01/29/13

When do you use "rather" vs. "prefer" to?

I don't know when to use "rather" or "prefer", can someone explain the difference?

Dorota G.


The meaning of "would rather" (keep the two together) is the same as "would prefer". The way you use them is different. 

I'd rather stay.        but       I'd prefer.

I'd = I would

However, if "would rather" is contrasted with "prefer"( alone, with no "would" preceding it), the meaning is shifted. The former (would rather) will be used in the moment, while the latter (prefer) will refer to a more "constant" preference.

I'd rather have fish. (Said when you're about to order)


I prefer eating fish. (Used to express a "constant", or general, preference)

Notice the form of the verb used. After "would rather" you will use a base form, for  example "have". After prefer you will use "eating", to stick to the example given above, (or "to eat" if you prefer).




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Gabriela A.


TO GO is a verb in its Infinitive verbal form

"go" is a verb as well -- the conjugation of the verb To Go in the Present Simple Tense.

The easiest way to remember: you don't use "to" before the verb when using the verb with "rather". Also remember: it is "I'd rather go"  -- the short form of "I would rather go".



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