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”