I can't think of anything I'd rather do less?

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ddubug

Senior Member
Korean
Hi,

A: Do you want to do this?
B: I can't think of anything I'd rather do less.

I can guess 'B's answer is negative.

Could you explain this to me? To me, ESL student, this is too hard to
translate.
 
  • Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    You're correct that it's negative. What B is saying is, that if you made a list of all the things you could possibly do, 'this' would be at the very bottom of the list. There is nothing in the world worse than 'this' in B's opinion. To do anything else would be better/more fun than doing 'this'.
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I've never heard this expression before (but that's not so conclusive).

    I'm wondering if this is some sort of joke, perhaps an adaptation of "there's nothing I'd rather do more"? (though I'm more familiar with "there's nothing I'd rather do" fullstop).

    It probably means that's the last thing he'd ever do, given a choice.

    EDIT: Thank you Emma42 and Loob, for being so kind as to confirm :)

    But Gwan did get there first :D
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm unhappy about this idiom. I'd rather do something means I'd prefer to do something. I'd rather do x than y means I'd prefer to do x than y, I'd want more to do x than y.

    So I can't think of anything I'd rather do less than z means I can't think of anything I'd want more to do less than z. It doesn't work. It's gibberish.

    The idiom as I know it is I can't think of anything I'd like to do less than z. Then z is truly at the bottom of the list as others have explained.

    Is this really an English idiom? If so, it's new to me, and grammatically haywire, in my view.
     
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