Anonymous:
I did my English homework yesterday. There was an exercise with empty gaps between words. So there was a sentence "I prefer reading novels ... watching TV" I put word ''over" in the blank space. Today in my English lesson I and my classmates reviewed the exercise. When I read my sentence, my teacher immediately insisted that I was wrong and the only word that fits in there is "to." I already knew that "to" fits in the gap, but I was also confident about "over." I still don't believe that "over" doesn't fit and I want to prove my teacher was wrong. Could you help me or prove me that I was wrong? Thank you.

Janis Strazdins,
Latvia.
Prefer over is well established and you were correct. Tell your teacher to have a look at this link at The New York Times:

http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=%22prefer+over%22+&srchst=nyt
Veteran Member11,673
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Thanks a lot, I will show her the link Emotion: smile
New Member11
Anonymous:
HELLO JANIS

PERHAPS MY RESPONSE IS NOT AS "QUICK" I JUST SAW YOUR BLOG.

YOU ARE CORRECT. OVER IS QUITE ALLRIGHT. TO MY MIND, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PURISTS, I THINK WE CAN CONSIDER 'TO' AS MORE COLLOQUIAL AND 'OVER' TO HAVE A HIGHER REGISTER. IN THE END IT ALL COMES DOWN TO PERSONAL PREFERNCE AND SOMETIMES REGIONAL USE.

I AM ALSO A TEACHER AND AS SUCH, I HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT NOT ALL WAYS OF SPEAKING COINCIDE WITH MY OWN AND HOW I FEEL IT SHOULD BE SPOKEN. HOWEVER, AS A TEACHER MYSELF, I HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO MAKE STUDENTS AWARE OF THAT FACT AND TRY TO AVOID STILTED SPEECH OR GRAMMAR RULES WHICH SEEM TO BE WHAT YOUR TEACHER IS DOING.
GOOD LUCK AND CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGLISH.
MARIO FAUBE
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Anonymous:
At one time, Following were the two correct ways of using prefer.

1. I prefer coffee over tea.

2. I prefer to spend the day with you

Then, Some teachers in the United States observed sentences like 2 above, and generalized the usage of "prefer to" even in the comparisons like that shown in sentence 1. So, in the USA pople would not hesitate to say the following

3. I prefer coffee to tea.
Now, sentence 3. started being used so widely that in USA it is preferred over sentence 1. And it was then legalized. So, the usage of "prefer to" as shown in sentence 3 above is now legal.
Anonymous:
Even My teacher thinks over is wrong.... i cant find the article you have refered to...pls help
Vivek
Tiruppur-Tamil Nadu-India
Anonymous:
Yes, both are correct "to" and "over". Moreover, in this case "over" sounds even better!
In British English, 'over' is not natural.
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