"I prefer", "I'd prefer" and "I'd rather" triangle :)

yataylimit

Member
Turkish - Turkey
Hi everyone. If someone offers me coffee and I want to tell them I would like tea instead, should I say "I prefer…", "I'd prefer…" or "I'd rather" in the following sentence? Thanks.

I prefer to drink tea.
I'd prefer to drink tea.
I'd rather drink tea.
 
  • yataylimit

    Member
    Turkish - Turkey
    se16teddy thank you for the quick reply. I know that the verb "prefer" can be followed both by a gerund or infinitive but I'm not also quite sure whether using a gerund in such a context would be correct. Would that be okay if I said "I prefer drinking tea" or "I'd prefer drinking tea"?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    As SE16Teddy pointed out, cultural considerations affect what you should say in this situation.
    I'd prefer drinking tea does not seem a natural thing to say. I would also avoid saying to drink.

    I suggest I'd prefer tea, if you have it or I'd prefer tea if that's alright with you.

    On the other hand, some people might come straight out with "Do you have tea instead?"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hi everyone. If someone offers me coffee and I want to tell them I would like tea instead, should I say "I prefer…", "I'd prefer…" or "I'd rather" in the following sentence? Thanks.

    I prefer to drink tea.
    I'd prefer to drink tea.
    I'd rather drink tea.
    Where I come from, culture tells me it is best to be direct. If you want to tell someone you would like tea instead, say "I would like tea instead (if you have it)."

    Merely mentioning your preferences or "druthers" could make you appear presumptuous enough to expect the other person to remember such things and yet would not connect in any clear way to the offer of coffee.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    In my opinion, the nature of your reply depends on who's offering you the coffee. Is it a server in a restaurant? Your spouse? A friend, at the friend's home? Your college professor? Or—?
     
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