I would rather X I´d prefer

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joserocha

New Member
portuguese
Would you prefer to take a video or an art class?
a- I´d prefer studying video to learning about art.
b - I´d prefer to study video.
c- I´d prefer studying video.

Which answer is correct? (a,b or C?). In my opinion they are all correct. I ask this because in Murphy´s "grammar in use" he says that the answer for the question - "should we take the train? is - "No, I´d prefer to drive" and not "I´d prefer driving." why?

Can I say - " I´d prefer to stay home tonight than to go out" and "I´d prefer to stay home tonight than go out" - or should I say- "I´d prefer to stay home tonight rather than go out"? -
Thanks for your help.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think all three are fine, in the right context.
    joserocha said:
    I ask this because in Murphy´s "grammar in use" he says that the answer for to the question - "Should we take the train?" is - "No, I´d prefer to drive" and not "I´d prefer driving." Why?
    In this example the infinitive to drive means "to travel by car". Driving is usually the actual process of controlling the car.
    Can I say - " I´d prefer to stay home tonight than to go out" and "I´d prefer to stay home tonight than go out" - or should I say- "I´d prefer to stay home tonight rather than go out"? -
    Thanks for your help.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    All three are fine for me also.

    I would also say that all three "staying at home" sentences are correct, but Panj disagrees. I don't know if I am missing something?
     

    clapec

    Senior Member
    Italian
    This is what I have been taught. I hope it will be useful :)

    When we say that we prefer one activity to another, two –ing forms are used. The second can be introduced by to or rather than (more formal):

    e.g. I prefer riding to/ rather than cycling.

    :warning: The conditional form would prefer, however, is followed by an infinitive.

    The structure can be continued by rather than with an infinitive or an –ing form:

    e.g. I would prefer to spend the weekend at the seaside rather than stay/staying at home.

    When the main clause has a to-infinitive, rather than is usually followed by an infinitive without to. An ing form is also possible, especially at the beginning of the sentence:

    e.g. I decided to write rather than phone/ phoning.

    Rather than use/using the last of my cheque, I decided to write a cheque.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Excellent explanation, clapec!

    I don't know of an exact rule, but I think it looks better if you have just 1 main verb, and use either infinitives (to xxx) or the 'ing' form mentioned above.

    I would suggest: "I'd prefer to take a video class" and "I´d prefer to stay home tonight rather than go out" is my preference.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I also object to the first stay at home sentences, because of the way than was used. (I don't know whether that was Panjandrum's objection as well.)

    You can say prefer x to y, or prefer x rather than y, or prefer x over y, but not prefer x than y. It is a little confusing here, because there is already a to following prefer in the sentence, but that one is part of the infinitive to stay.
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Am I the only one who think "I'd prefer ... rather than ..." is redundant? Why not just say "I'd rather ... than ...". Obviously you prefer staying home if that is what you would rather do. Maybe it is just me, but I would use only one of these expressions in a sentence.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Nick, I think it's a question of individual style, which can vary in the same individual at different times and in different circumstances. Many people switch registers and styles all the time, often duing the course of the same conversation, or even in mid-sentence (or even mid-word!)

    I would use both of your examples. Possibly I would use the "I'd prefer...rather than..." if I were thinking the thing through whilst speaking. The use of prefer would give me more time to think. Also, I might use it if I wanted to be emphatic.
     

    lisilon

    New Member
    Uk - portuguese
    certain verbs DO NOT ACCEPT gerund after.
    That's the case of prefer.
    Maybe that's why it accepts only infinitive.
    Murphy's grammar is really complete.
     

    Grekh

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Mexico
    certain verbs DO NOT ACCEPT gerund after.
    That's the case of prefer.
    Maybe that's why it accepts only infinitive.
    Murphy's grammar is really complete.

    what about "I prefer listening to the radio to watching TV"?? In this case "prefer" is accepting gerund
     

    RoseLilly

    Banned
    USA English
    I would prefer to see a movie.
    [prefer + infinitive (no gerunds allowed)

    I prefer listening to the radio to watching TV.
    (gerund is best)

    Why?
    These gerund-or-infinitive questions can be hard to figure out. But a useful rule of thumb is this:
    If the action hasn't happened yet, or is going to happen in the future -- use an infinitive.
    I would prefer TO SEE a movie. (future)

    If the action has happened, use a gerund.
    I prefer listening to the radio to watching TV. (I have done both in the past, and radio is my favorite).
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Am I the only one who think "I'd prefer ... rather than ..." is redundant? Why not just say "I'd rather ... than ...". Obviously you prefer staying home if that is what you would rather do. Maybe it is just me, but I would use only one of these expressions in a sentence.
    I agree.
     

    gerund

    New Member
    Philippines
    There are several rules to be followed using prefer/would prefer and would rather.
    Rules in prefer/would prefer:
    a. used if it is followed by a noun.
    Ex. I'd prefer a movie.
    I prefer a book.
    b. used if it is followed by a gerund.
    Ex. I'd prefer dancing.
    I prefer studying grammar.
    c. used if it is followed by an infinitive to.
    Ex. I'd prefer to drive.
    I prefer to travel on an airplane.
    d. used "to" in comparing two things.
    structure: prefer/would prefer + noun +to +noun
    Ex. I'd prefer a book to a movie.
    or prefer/would prefer + gerund +to + gerund
    Ex. I'd prefer dancing to singing.

    Rules in would rather:
    a. use if it is followed by a base form of a verb.
    ex. I would rather eat out tonight.
    b. use "than" in comparing two things.
    Ex. I would rather eat out than cook tonight.
    c. used to refuse an offer; suggestion or invitation.
    Ex. "Would you like some more bread"?
    "No thanks. I'd rather not".
    Would you prefer to take a video or an art class?
    a- I´d prefer studying video to learning about art.
    b - I´d prefer to study video.
    c- I´d prefer studying video.

    Which answer is correct? (a,b or C?). In my opinion they are all correct. I ask this because in Murphy´s "grammar in use" he says that the answer for the question - "should we take the train? is - "No, I´d prefer to drive" and not "I´d prefer driving." why?

    Can I say - " I´d prefer to stay home tonight than to go out" and "I´d prefer to stay home tonight than go out" - or should I say- "I´d prefer to stay home tonight rather than go out"? -
    Thanks for your help.
     
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