I prefer playing football to / than / rather than tennis?

Fredziu

Senior Member
Polish
Hello,
Could someone tell me if all of the following options are correct and which would be preferable in British English?
1) I prefer playing football to tennis.
2) I prefer playing football than tennis.
3) I prefer playing football rather than tennis.
Or would it be best to say I prefer playing football to playing tennis? But won't it sound a bit unnatural if I repeat the verb playing?
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you include the playing, it's best to repeat it, I'd say.

    You could, of course, consider I prefer football to tennis, as long as it's clear that you are talking about playing rather than watching.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you, Thomas. I'll just ask again about the first 3 options. Are they incorrect? If not, which of them would be used in standard everyday English?
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    The first is the one I'd consider to be most commpn.
    The second is incorrect.
    I would say the third one (which needs a comma after "football") is also incorrect, but it wouldn't surprise me much if I heard someone say it.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    How about this: I prefer talking to you to him? It sounds awkward to me. If this sentence is incorrect, then how can I express this meaning? Do I have to say: I prefer talking to you to talking to him?
     

    Ann O'Rack

    Senior Member
    UK
    UK English
    1 and 3 are correct though 1 would be most commonly heard.

    3 is correct for the very reason you give in post 5. "I prefer talking to you rather than to him" is how I would say it, to avoid to many "to"s.
     

    teacherdehnavi

    Senior Member
    Persian
    I prefer to play basketball to handball
    I'd rather play basketball than play handball.

    Are those above sentences right ?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I prefer to play basketball to handball :cross:
    I prefer playing basketball to playing handball :tick:

    I'd rather play basketball than play handball :tick:
    I'd rather play basketball than handball :tick::thumbsup:
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I prefer reading English novels to Persian novels

    The meaning of that is clear, and I’m sure lots of people would say it in exactly that way. But I like symmetry, so to me the syntax jars. The comparison reads as though it’s between an activity (reading English novels) and things (Persian novels). And in fact, the word reading can be omitted since it will automatically be understood.

    I prefer reading English novels to reading Persian ones :tick::thumbsup:
    I prefer English novels to Persian ones :tick::thumbsup:
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top