Knowledge of the basic rules of grammar in the English language is not a guarantee that you react correctly and competently in any situation. In this mass of all kinds of foreign language structures and expressions that just need to study, if only because they are so widely used in speech, both written and oral. Then you will easily understand what (specifically) the interlocutor wanted to say on what he wanted to emphasize what shade wanted to give his words. Moreover, you can easily answer in the same way, and just to express their opinion, based on the so popular speech patterns in English.
Let’s talk about famous expressions prefer and would rather (would sooner). Despite the fact that by virtue of these constructions relate to the same topic — I want prefer — in which there are differences in shade as they give a speech and to use, which contains its grammatical nuances. To better represent these important issues, we will not stir these expressions, and look at them individually, thereby forming a clear idea of how, where and when to use would rather (would sooner) and prefer.
We begin immediately with the verb «prefer» — prefer. This verb we use the infinitive with the particle to (prefer to do something) or a gerund (prefer doing something). Both of these designs are absolutely equal. They express preferences of the person in general, that is, determine what a person like always, and not in any particular situation. This is important to grasp the meaning of it is general and not of a private nature.
I prefer to live in the country. — I prefer to live outside the city.
I prefer phoning people to writing letter. — I like to call the people you write them letters.
I prefer to stay late at night. — I prefer to go to bed late at night.
She prefers giving gifts more than receiving them. — She likes to give gifts than to receive them.
To clearly remember the correct structure design with the verb «prefer», you need to learn a few suggestions that are algorithm for its use. There are three models:
- I prefer something to something else — I prefer something something
- I prefer doing something to doing something else — I’d rather do this, and it is not
- I prefer to do something rather than (do) something — cm. Option 2
I prefer meat to fish. — I do like meat, not fish.
I prefer going to the theatre to watching plays on television. — I prefer going to the theater, rather than watch the performances on TV.
I prefer to live in the country rather than (live) in the city. — I like to live the countryside than in the city.
In contrast to the use of a verb prefer, use of the expression would prefer assumes no preference rights in general, and his wants and needs in a particular situation. In other words, someone wants something (do something) right now, even if in a more general sense in his life, he does not give it preference. Also distinguish the two samples, according to which you can be all you need the following proposals:
- Would you prefer …? — What would you like? What do you prefer? (in certain situations).
Would you prefer tea or coffee? Coffee, please. — You’ll be tea or coffee? Coffee, please.
- I would prefer to do something rather than do something else. (I would prefer one thing and not something else).
I’d prefer to read a book. — I would read a book.
I’d prefer to eat at home rather than go out. — I would prefer to eat at home rather than go to some place.
Note that the auxiliary verb would in these constructions are almost always used in abbreviated form — I would = I’d …
Drinking would rather (would sooner)
The second is very useful expression — would rather — is an analogue of the previous I would prefer. The meaning of these three structures (would rather, would sooner, would prefer) the same, but there are very small, but powerful enough grammatical nuance in the design. After we would prefer to use a particle infinitive to (to do), and then the other two — no particles to (do). Accordingly, the sample for use with the memory would rather looks like this: I’d rather do something than do something else.
Shall we go by train? Well, I’d prefer to go by car. I’d rather go by car. — Let’s go by train? Well, I would go by car.
I’d rather walk in the park than go to the cinema. — I’d rather walk in the park than go to the movies.
I’d rather wait for a few minutes. — I would have waited a few minutes.
He said he would sooner stay at home. — He said that he would prefer to stay at home.
And another rule concerning the use of would rather (would sooner): when we want someone else has done something, or trying to say that the other person is preferable to do something, we refer to this design — would rather someone did something. Pay special attention that the verb in this case will be in the form of the simple past tense, but it would be a present or future actions.
I’d rather you cooked the dinner now. — I would like you to be prepared for lunch today.
I’d rather you told her. — I’d rather you told her.
My mother would rather we caught the bus, rather than walk home after the party. — Mom would have preferred that we were getting home after a party on the bus, not on foot.