Prefer to/Prefer over?

This question has been answered · 13 replies
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Dear Teachers, need your help again..

Which of the following is correct?

Prefer to
Prefer over

Given a choice, I would prefer whisky to vodka.
ABC - preferred over Italian marble worldwide. (happened to come across an ad with such a caption)

Thanks very much!!
New Member13
Approved answer (verified by )
I would accept either one as correct. "to" may be a little more formal.
Veteran Member53,282
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Anonymous:
I agree. The Mirosoft word prefers "Prefer To" to "Prefer Over".
Hi guys,

Where I live, I almost never hear anyone say 'prefer over'. It sounds pretty formal to me.

Best wishes, Clive
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Anonymous:
Outside of experience or preference, does anyone have any reasoning behind the choice? Just curious.
Both work, but to is more frequent.

Google hits at the BBC site:
8 from bbc.co.uk for "was preferred over"
869 from bbc.co.uk for "was preferred to"

From the BBC:
-----
Reports suggest the two men would be extradicted to face trial on
Dutch Government premises in the Hague not in the International Court
of Justice, before a panel of Scottish judges.

The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, stated in a written parliamentary
answer 10 days ago, that that option was preferred over a five-member
international panel.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/08/98/lockerbie/157524.stm
-----
Veteran Member11,673
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Anonymous:
Where do you live, Clive?
Hi,

Canada

Clive
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Anonymous:
I have never heard anyone say 'I prefer football over cricket', for example, as it's always been 'to' in my experience, but maybe with the passive as in the BBC report and when it means 'rather than' and is not a straight 'I prefer one thing to another'. I think it might also be used more frequently with a noun, as in to have a preference for something 'over' something else. After all, lots of words change their prepositions depending on the part of speech.

That being said, in my opinion 'to' is less formal than 'over'
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