would you sooner be on your own


Senior Member
Sophie was sitting in the crowded hotel lounge drinking gin. Paula saw her and would like to chat with her. What does it mean the question "Or would you sooner be on your own?" in the context as follows?

Sophie saw her, raised the glass to her instead of drinking.
'I feel like some company,' Paula began as she took off her coat. 'Or would you sooner be on your own?'
  • Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    LV4 is quite correct. "sooner" does commonly mean "rather" in this context. Paula is saying that she feels like talking to someone; however, she wants to know if Sophie would prefer to be alone at that moment or whether Sophie would welcome some company.