Stating a Preference

Sometimes you need to state a preference when someone makes a suggestion, offers something or asks your opinion about what to do. Often people are asking for your opinion and you can state your preference freely, other times, people have made an offer and you need to state a preference politely if you do not want to do what has been suggested, or would rather do something else.

  • Would you like to see a film tonight?
    I'd rather go dancing. How does that sound?
  • Why don't we have some chinese food?
    Well, I'd prefer eating Italian. What do you think?
  • What do you think we should do?
    If it were up to me, I'd go out for dinner.
  • What are we going to do today? The weather is awful!
    I think we should go to a museum.

    Why don't we go to a museum.

    Let's go to a museum.

    How about going to a museum.

After you study these constructions, take the showing preferences quiz to check your understanding.

More English Functions

Contrasting Ideas
Making Complaints
Asking for Information
Giving Advice
Being Imprecise or Vague
Saying 'No' Nicely
Showing Preferences
Making Suggestions
Offering Help
Giving Warning
Demanding Explanations


FormulaVerb Form
I'd rather...Use the base form the verb without 'to' with 'rather'
I'd prefer...Use the '-ing' form following the verb 'prefer'
If it were up to me, I'd...Use the second conditional form followed by the base form of the verb without 'to'
I think we should...Use the base form the verb without 'to' following the modal form 'should'
Why don't we...?Use the base form of the verb in a question
Let's go ...Use the base form of the verb with 'let's'
How about...?Use the '-ing' form of the verb after a preposition - here 'about'
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Stating a Preference." ThoughtCo, Jun. 12, 2014, Beare, Kenneth. (2014, June 12). Stating a Preference. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Stating a Preference." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 16, 2017).