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Autor:  Marcio Osorio
E-mail:  rec165701@yahoo.com.br
Data:  27/MAI/2006 2:59 PM
Assunto:  prefer + to, prefer + -ing & a hospital
 
Mensagem:  On the topic.

Most often NSEs (native speakers of English) use an -ing form after prefer, to talk about general preferences.

A: Do you like swimming?
B: Yes, but I prefer sailing.

They will use it with the infinitive to talk about preferences on a particular occasion.

A: Hey! Want a ride?
B: No thanks, I (would) prefer to walk.

NSEs and the overwhelmingly excruciating majority of LEs (learners of English) may prefer one activity to another, in which case they invariably will use an -ing form rather than an infinitive form. -ing forms may appear in both halves of the sentence. Like this:

A: I prefer sailing to swimming.
B: I prefer reading to skydiving.

They might prefer to use it with an infinitive just to introduce another clause using rather than. Native English-speaking grammarians and the consuetudiness of a long existing usage panel eventually came to adopt the infinitive without to and the -ing form. All on both halves of the sentence.

A: I (would) prefer to save rather than spend/spending.
B: So says A. Rather than spend/spending all the money, I (would) prefer to save it as well.

How about you? What would you prefer to do? Do you prefer reading to posting on the EMB forum?

Inquiring minds want to know! (IMWTK!)

-x-x-x-

They are at the hospital = in the vicinity of or around the hospital.
They are in the hospital = inside the hospital (AmE)
They are in hospital = inside the hospital (BrE)


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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Infinitive or gerund after the verb?  –  SYON  27/MAI/2006, 7:57 AM
 prefer + to, prefer + -ing & a hospital  –  Marcio Osorio  27/MAI/2006, 2:59 PM

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