What’s the Difference between Would Rather, Prefer and Had Better?
Difference between Would Rather, Prefer and Had Better
The use of Would Rather (‘d rather)
Would rather is used to express a preference in English.
- I‘d rather go out for dinner. I’m hungry!
- We went to the theatre yesterday. Today I would rather go to the cinema.
- Peter‘d rather spend time on the beach.
- I would rather learn a new language than study math.
- I‘d rather have fruit juice
- Would you rather stay at home?
- Would they rather do homework tomorrow morning?
- Would rather is often used with ‘than’ with two verbs or objects when making a choice between two specific actions.
- Would you rather work for Tom than for Mary?
- She would rather play tennis than go horseback riding.
Would Rather – For other People
Would rather is also used to express what one person prefers another person to do.
- I’d rather she didn’t come with us today.
- Tim would rather Peter didn’t join the company.
- I would rather my son worked in finance.
- Susan would rather Peter took a plane.
- Would you rather he came with us to the meeting?
The Use of Prefer
We use prefer to say we like one thing or activity more than another. We can use a prepositional phrase with to when we compare two things or actions:
- I prefer tea to coffee.
- We prefer going by ferry to flying.
We can use a to-infinitive or an -ing form after prefer.
- She’s not keen on coffee. She prefers to drink tea.
- or She prefers drinking tea to coffee.
The use of Had Better (‘d better)
We use had better to refer to the present or the future, to talk about actions we think people should do or which are desirable in a specific situation:
- It’s five o’clock. I’d better go now before the traffic gets too bad.
- She’d better get here soon or she’ll miss the opening ceremony.
- I’d better not leave my bag there. Someone might steal it.
- You’d better not tell Elizabeth about the broken glass – she’ll go crazy!
- Hadn’t you better switch your computer off? It might overheat if you leave it on.