Modals of Preference

The three modals of preference,  ‘would rather’, ‘like…better than’, and ‘prefer to,’ are used to indicate preference. 


  1. I would rather read an e-book.
  2. I like reading e-book better than printed books.
  3. I prefer reading e-books to printed books
  4. I would rather read e-books than printed books.

Note: When we use ‘would rather’, we use the infinitive form of verb without preposition, for example, read. When we use ‘prefer’, we use verb with –ing form, for example, reading.

Also, ‘would rather’ can be used alone or with ‘than’. It is used with ‘than’ when we wish to indicate choices.

Another important point to be noted is that ‘prefer’ always comes with the preposition ‘to’.

To indicate choice for others, use ‘would rather’ with past form of verb even while talking about present or future choice.


I would rather you respected my decision.

Let’s see how these modals of preferences are used in the news. References:

“I would rather do stunts with animals than underwater in Khatron Ke Khiladi” (Mumbai Mirror)

“Study reveals 76% of respondents would prefer to travel to countries offering contactless experiences” (Travel Daily News)


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