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"prefer to" or "prefer + -ing"? Usually, I use "prefer + to-infinitive", but my current teacher says me that according classic English it's better to use "prefer + -ing". However, Camridge says that both variants are appropriate: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/common-verbs/hate-like-love-and-prefer. The qiestion is: Could using of "prefer + to-infinitive" be a reason of losing points on the IELTS exam? Examples: - I prefer to use public transportation. - I prefer using public transportation. - I prefer to eat at home. - I prefer eating at home.
Jul 20, 2019 7:12 PM
Answers · 11
"I am preferring to" sounds outdated to me, I haven't heard it spoken by any of my fellow Brits for a very long time. Can you show us a link to "the Cambridge?"
July 20, 2019
You have not worded your question very well. You have mislead us to think the dictionary said "I am preferring to ----(x)" that is incorrect. "I prefer + (verb+ing)" is acceptable. "I am preferring to --(x)" = A long time ago some people spoke like that in specific circles I think it was "the legal profession".
July 20, 2019
I can't imagine losing points on the IELTS on a basic, widely accepted structure. Unit 59 of English Grammar in Use by Murphy clearly gives both forms as standard. [excerpt] You can use 'prefer to (do)' or 'prefer -ing' to say what you prefer in general. I don't like cities. I prefer to live in the country. or I prefer living in the country. I prefer driving to travelling by train. I prefer to drive than than travel by train. I suspect your teacher can't support his statement. I did Google Ngrams for "prefer to eat/prefer eating" and "prefer to drive/prefer driving." The "prefer to (do)" form is more common in print. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=prefer+to+drive%2Cprefer+driving&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cprefer%20to%20drive%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cprefer%20driving%3B%2Cc0 https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=prefer+to+eat%2Cprefer+eating&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cprefer%20to%20eat%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cprefer%20eating%3B%2Cc0
July 20, 2019
"preferring to be alone" Headline dated March 1Oth 2018. http://www.wroolie.co.uk/2018/03/preferring-to-be-alone/ I knew I had come across this structure, but this is subtly different to your question. I also have heard people confuse this structure with "I prefer being alone" and "I prefer to be alone" and as a result say strange sentences. "Preferring to be + somewhere else/ alone/ with friends/ on holiday" is describing the persons preference" "I am" is not used in these situations.
July 21, 2019
Now the question makes sense. With the edit the examples and the links. "prefer to" or "prefer + verb-ing". Yes you can use either.
July 20, 2019
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