I prefer London over (to) Paris?

volver

Senior Member
french belgium
Hello,


I like better London than Paris
Would I say I prefer London over Paris? or over to Paris?

I always doubt.

Thank you.


VOLVER
 
  • City Slicker

    Member
    English (USA)
    volver said:
    I like better London than Paris
    Would I say I prefer London over Paris? or over to Paris?

    The first phrase should be I like London better than Paris
    Then it would be I prefer London over Paris
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I prefer London to Paris.

    The "over" version sounds very odd to me - but not, apparently, to others :)
    _______________________________

    With a following direct object the normal construction of prefer is with to (he preferred honey to marmalade)...
    New Fowler's Modern English Usage
     
    Last edited:

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    I prefer London to Paris.

    The "over" version sounds very odd to me - but not, apparently, to others :)
    _______________________________

    With a following direct object the normal construction of prefer is with to (he preferred honey to marmalade)...
    New Fowler's Modern English Usage
    I absolutely agree. I think the expressions go, I favor London over Paris, and I prefer London to Paris.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    What if we change the verb to passive? Does it make any difference?

    this version is preferred over the other

    To me it sounds better than the active form with "over" for some reason. :confused:
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    What if we change the verb to passive? Does it make any difference?

    this version is preferred over the other

    To me it sounds better than the active form with "over" for some reason. :confused:
    Yes, I think it does make it more acceptable, although "to" is still fine, and what I would use. I can't put my finger on why it would become more acceptable in the passive though.

    I prefer French over maths - sounds a bit odd to me.
    French is preferred over maths - less so for some reason.

    Edit - I wonder if it is because the more the use of "prefer" really means "prioritise" (or similar) the more "over" is acceptable, and this is more common in the passive? I suppose this would only be a meaningful difference for those who would usually use "to", anyway.

    For example, in terms of talking about who got a promotion saying "Alex was preferred over Jo" sounds ok, if a bit business speaky. In fact, I'd go as far as to say "Alex was preferred over Jo for the job because Alex is preferred to Jo generally!" - thus having a kind of meaningful choice between the two.
     
    Last edited:

    jiamajia

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I would say:
    I prefer London to Paris.
    but:
    I would choose London over Paris.
    How about the verb 'favor'.

    I favor London over Paris.
    I favor London to Paris.


    I did hear a translator put into English a grandma's words to her daughter-in-law on TV: I favor boys to girls. It is not natural, isn't?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    How about the verb 'favor'.

    I favor London over Paris.
    I favor London to Paris.


    I did hear a translator put into English a grandma's words to her daughter-in-law on TV: I favor boys to girls. It is not natural, isn't?
    I agree with you. I would use "over" with the verb "to favour". This fits in with what I said all those years ago above about "over" being more acceptable with "to prefer" if the nuance is "to prioritise".

    Edit - but I wonder if in your example the translator had really got the verb wrong, and they meant to say "I prefer boys to girls" and so got the preposition right but the verb wrong.

    A sexist teacher might favour boys over girls and therefore give them higher marks on their tests, but a dance teacher might prefer boys to girls because they dance better (completely made up example!!)
     
    Last edited:

    jiamajia

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Edit - but I wonder if in your example the translator had really got the verb wrong, and they meant to say "I prefer boys to girls" and so got the preposition right but the verb wrong.

    A sexist teacher might favour boys over girls and therefore give them higher marks on their tests, but a dance teacher might prefer boys to girls because they dance better (completely made up example!!)
    The scene was the grandma would like to have a grandson rather than a granddaughter born, given that her in-law was allowed to bear one child only as per China's family planning rule. If the translator interpreted her meaning as that she favored boys over girls, would that make sense, or the correct verb should be 'prefer' ?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I usually use 'favor' to refer to better treatment in some way, as in timpeac's examples.
    If the grandma favors boys, she treats them better than she does girls.

    When I mean 'choose' I use 'prefer'. In this case I think the translator should have said 'prefer'. If the grandma could choose, she would ask for a boy.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top