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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?) - 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.
Comments  
Hi Careta,

Welcome to the Forum.

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.

These all seem OK to me. As noted in my next comment, context may suggest one rather than another.

Which answer is correct?(a,b or c?) - 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? In his Practical English Usage, Section 483, Michael Swann notes that the -ing form is used more often when speaking about general preferences, and the infinitive more often when speaking about a preference on a particular occasion. I'd say that's true.

Can I say - " I´d prefer to stay home tonight than to go out" No and "I´d prefer to stay home tonight than go out" No - or should I say- "I´d prefer to stay home tonight rather than go out"? - Yes.

You could also say 'I prefer staying home to going out'. Again, this sounds more like a general statement.

Thank you for stating your question clearly, and for noting the grammar book comment that caused you to ask. That's a help in answering you.

Best wishes, Clive
A, b, and c should be all correct. “Some people prefer camping to staying in hotels"; "We prefer sleeping outside"

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/prefer

http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com/word/prefer

Prefer driving and prefer to drive are both correct.

If you have to compare between two alternatives and choose one over another, then the syntax should be “I prefer X to Y”. Or you could simply say, I prefer X.

In your examples, the following would be correct:

I´d prefer to stay home tonight

I’d prefer staying home tonight

I’d prefer staying home tonight to going out

And if you use “would rather” in place of “prefer” then in the context of choosing one alternative over another, the syntax is “would rather … than” or simply “would rather”

Had rather, or Would rather, prefer to; prefers to; as, he had, or would, rather go than stay. ``I had rather speak five words with my understanding than ten thousands words in an unknown tongue.'' --1 Cor. xiv. 19.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/would%20rather

I’d rather stay home tonight

I’d rather stay home tonight than go out
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Hi guys,

I have noticed something strange because all the grammar books say that we should use "prefer x TO y" but the author of this thread wrote at the very beginning a sentence like "Would you prefer to take a video or an art class" and we have "or" there, by the way it's written by Murphy right ? What can you tell me about "prefer x OR y" ? It seems that English speakers use it very often.

thx
Hi,

I have noticed something strange because all the grammar books say that we should use "prefer x TO y" but the author of this thread wrote at the very beginning a sentence like "Would you prefer to take a video or an art class" and we have "or" there, by the way it's written by Murphy right ? What can you tell me about "prefer x OR y" ? It seems that English speakers use it very often.

Yes, you'll hear people say both. Sometimes they can be interchanged. Here's a couple of general comments.

prefer X or Y - relates to a present choice, eg Come in. Please sit down. How about something to drink? Would you prefer tea or coffee?

prefer X to Y - relates to your customs/habits/things you like better, eg I love Italy, but I never go to Rome. I prefer Florence to Rome.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi again,

So does it mean that "or" is used rather in questions like your "Would you prefer tea or coffee" ? Can we say an affirmative sentence like "I prefer climbing or hiking but definitely not cycling" ? Does "or" indicate that we like something equally (this one or that one and not "I like this much more than that")

thx
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I prefer climbing or hiking but definitely not cycling.

To me this means I prefer climbing to cycling and I prefer hiking to cycling.
It does not say whether I like climbing and hiking equally; maybe I prefer climbing to hiking, and maybe I prefer hiking to climbing, and maybe I like them equally. The sentence doesn't say.

CJ
Hi Guys,

Are you sure that c is correct? It seems to me not, " would prefer " is wrong.