Would rather

Rather is an adverb that we can use to express a specific preference. It goes after the modal verb would and before a verb in the base form.

We use would rather with the base form as an alternative to would prefer. Remember that would prefer is followed by a verb in the infinitive form.

Grammar patterns:

would prefer + infinitive

would rather + base form


I’d prefer to go on vacation in July instead of August

I‘d rather go on vacation in July than in August.

Would you prefer to stay in or to go out tonight?

Would you rather stay in or go out tonight?

We can use would rather to talk about what we would prefer another person to do. For that case we use the past tense, even though we are talking about a present or future preference.

Grammar pattern:

would rather + someone + simple past


I’d rather my students took notes during class.

She‘d rather her boyfriend gave her flowers for her birthday.

I‘d rather my students didn’t use their phones during class.

The students would rather their teacher didn’t give them homework every day.

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐⭐

Let’s sing!

This song is perfect to practice “rather than”


Indirect Questions


We use indirect questions when we want to ask a question in a more polite way.

Let’s compare direct questions and indirect questions:

  • In indirect questions, the word order is subject + verb.
  • We don’t use do/did in the second part of the question.
  • You can use if or whether in questions without a question word (yes/no questions)

Learn more about

Direct questions

Subject questions

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Change the direct question into an indirect one

Discuss the question with your group. Give as many details as possible


How to write a report for the B2 (FCE) test

for B2 Cambridge First


A report is another piece of formal writing. It is based on facts (you’ll probably have to invent those ‘facts’ for the exam, and that’s okay). By writing a good report in English you will demonstrate that you can organize and communicate factual information using a formal tone. As with other pieces of formal writing (for example, essays, formal emails, articles, etc.), there is a special format used to write reports in English.

Parts of an English report
1. Title

This part will give the reader a general idea of the topic of your report.

Make sure that you follow the capitalization rules for titles. You can find more information about how to write titles in English here.

2. Introduction

In this section, you should state clearly the purpose of your report and what information you are going to include.

Try to paraphrase (use your own words) to write the information given in the instructions.

3. Topic points

In these paragraphs, you will give most of the information and details of your report. It should be factual and clear. It shouldn’t sound like a story or like a novel.

You should write at least 2 topic points. One topic point per paragraph. Each paragraph must contain a topic sentence.

What is a topic sentence?

A topic sentence is a sentence that includes the main point (idea) of a paragraph. It has the information that readers need to understand what is the most important point in the paragraph.

The topic sentences guide readers and protect them from confusion. They usually appear at the beginning of each paragraph.

Click here to learn more about topic sentences.

4. Your suggestions/ recommendations

This is the last part of the report. You need to finish it up by writing your recommendations. You must base your recommendation on the facts that you wrote in the topic paragraphs.

Make sure that your recommendations are well-connected with the topic points that you wrote in the previous paragraphs.

Steps to writing a report

Step 1: Make a plan

Step 2: Write it

Step 3: Check it

Now that you know the parts of a report and the steps to follow, let’s see an article sample for the B2 (FCE) Cambridge writing test.

Useful language

For the introduction:

  • This report describes…
  • This report is based on …
  • The purpose of this report is to …

For the topic points:

  • Currently …
  • To begin with …
  • It appears that …
  • It seems that …
  • Furthermore/ In addition
  • In general/ Generally speaking
  • It is generally believed that …
  • almost always/ nearly always
  • Most/ The majority of + noun
  • noun + tend to be + adjective

For your suggestions/ recommendations:

  • All things considered …
  • Based on the findings of this report I recommend/ suggest + verb-ing
  • I would recommend/ suggest + verb-ing
  • Although both… I think that …
  • It would be advisable that …
Pro tips for writing reports

Make sure that you:

  • wrote a title that shows what the report is about
  • divided the report into clear paragraphs with subheadings
  • answered all the parts of the question
  • did NOT use contractions or informal words
  • Used connectors and formulaic expressions (useful language)
Practice time

You have been asked to write a report about entertainment in your city for a travel magazine. Write your report in the comments below.