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English Grammar Reference: Would rather and Would prefer

These two sentences have the same meaning:

I'd rather stay at home.

I'd prefer to stay at home.

They both mean that if possible I want to stay at home.

Look at the construction:

Rather

Positive

subject

would

rather

base form

 

I

would

rather

go

the cinema.

I

'd

rather

listen to

the radio.

Negative

subject

would

rather not

base form

 

I

would

rather not

go.

 

I

'd

rather not

invite

him.

Prefer

Positive

subject

would

prefer

infinitive

 

I

would

prefer

to go

the cinema.

I

'd

prefer

to listen to

the radio.

Negative

subject

would

prefer not

infinitive

 

I

would

prefer not

to go.

 

I

'd

prefer not

to invite

him.