Exercise 3

Fill in the gaps with ONE word. In some sentences there is a word in brackets that you will need to use.

1She would to stay with me rather stay in a hotel.

2I would talk to you in private.

3They prefer fishing hunting.

4I living in a small village to living in a big city.

5I'd prefer to travel to different countries than travel to only one.

6I'd rather you (talk) to him first.

7Would you rather (finish) this later?

8I'd to drink water than wine

9I'd you took her to the hospital.

10I prefer sitting in the back to (sit) in the front.



would rather, would prefer – summary chart

would rather, would prefer – expressing preference

would rather/would sooner


would rather/sooner + infinitive … (than)

We use would rather/sooner + infinitive (without to) to talk about preference. We can use it with than (+noun/infinitive) in affirmative sentences or with or in questions.

  • I‘d  rather/sooner have tea, please. 
  • I‘d  rather/sooner have tea than drink that coffee. 
  • Would you rather/sooner have tea or coffee?


would rather/sooner + subject + past simple

We can use would rather/sooner + subject + past simple to refer to the present or future.

  • We‘d rather/sooner she was/were with us now.*
  • She‘d rather/sooner I picked her up after lunch. 
  • Would you rather/sooner we went by bus or by train?

Note that we can use were instead of was with I/he/she after would rather + subject.



(would) prefer + to + infinitive … (rather than/instead of)

We use prefer/would prefer + noun or to + infinitive to talk about specific preference, i.e. what we prefer on a specific occasion.

  • I would prefer to stay in a hotel near the airport. (or I would rather stay…)
  • Most clients prefer to have breakfast in their bedroom. 

We can use prefer/would prefer with rather than or instead of to show the choices we have.

  • I would prefer to be too early rather than be too late. 
  • prefer to go with dad instead of staying here with mum. 

Note that we use rather than + infinitive without to

prefer + -ing verb

We use prefer + noun or -ing verb to talk about general preference, i.e. what we prefer in general, on every occasion.

  • I love running, but he prefers cycling

We can use prefer with to to show the choices we have. The word to is a preposition here, so if we use a verb after to, it should take the -ing form.

  • He prefers walking to cycling


Do the exercises