Prefer and Would Rather

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 livingin the country.

Study the differences in structure after prefer. We say:

  • I prefer something to something else.
  • I prefer to do something rather than (do) something else.
  • I prefer doing something to doing something else.

•  I prefer this coat to the coat you were wearing yesterday.
•  I prefer driving to traveling by train.
butI prefer to drive rather than travel by train.
•  Ann prefers to live in the country rather than (live) in a city.

Would prefer (I'd prefer...)

We use "would prefer" to say what somebody wants in a particular situation (not in general):

•  "Would you prefer tea or coffee" "Coffee, please."

We say "would prefer to do" (not "doing"):

•  "Shall we go by train?" "Well, I'd prefer to go by car. (not "I'd prefer going")
•  I'd prefer to stay at home tonight rather than go to the cinema.

Would rather (I'd rather...)

Would rather (do) = would prefer (to do). After would rather we use the infinitive without to.

Compare:

   "Shall we go by train?" "I'd prefer to go by car."
"I'd rather go by car. (not to go)

  "Would you rather have tea or coffee" "Coffee, please."

The negative is "I'd rather not (do something)":
•  I'm tired. I'd rather not go out this evening, if you don't mind.
•  "Do you want to go out this evening" "I'd rather not."

Study the structure after would rather:

I'd rather do something than (do) something else.

•  I'd rather stay at home tonight than go to the cinema.

I'd rather you did something

When you want somebody to do something, you can say "I'd rather you did something":

•  "Shall I stay here?" "I'd rather you came with us."
•  "Shall I tell them the news?" "No. I'd rather they didn't know."

•  "Shall I tell them or would you rather they didn't know?"

In this structure we use the past (came, did etc.), but the meaning is present or future, not past.
Compare:

•  I'd rather cook the dinner now.

but • I'd rather you cooked the dinner now. (not "I'd rather you cook")

The negative is "I'd rather you didn't...":
•  I'd rather you didn't tell anyone what I said.
• "Do you mind if I smoke?" "I'd rather you didn't."

    Can you say the following

    Can you say the following sentence: ' I would prefer to eat Italian food tonight than French food'.
    Or do you have to use 'rather' than French food?

    I would prefer to eat Italian food tonight rather than French food.

    Another example:
    I would prefer to relax at home tonight than to go to David's party.
    I would prefer to relax at home tonight rather than to go to David's party.

    Basically, my question is can we use than without rather when using prefer?

    Accordng to what I

    Accordng to what I remembered, you can use "than" without "rather". But, I think your sentence should be:
    "I would prefer to relax at home tonight than go/going to David's party."
    "I would prefer to relax at home tonight rather than go/going to David's party."

    Is correct to say "Ann would

    Is correct to say
    "Ann would rather eat Chinese food to Indian" ?

    Yes. That's right :)

    Yes. That's right :)

    "Ann would rather eat

    "Ann would rather eat Chinese food to Indian"
    It is wrong to use "to" with would rather, you have to use it with "than", and would prefer with "to"
    E.g
    Ann would rather eat Chinese food than Indian.
    or
    Ann would prefer to eat/eating Chinese food to Indian.

    Thank you very much! Now is

    Thank you very much! Now is clearer