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    #1

    The usages of the word "prefer"

    The following are sentences I wrote about the usages of the word "prefer". I know that sentence a and b are correct, because they are standard usages. But, I am not sure if sentence c, d, and e are also correct or not. Could anyone please help me with this? Thank you! (This is not homework, I just want to know if it is OK to write sentences like c, d, and e.)

    a. I prefer to win rather than (to) lose.

    b. I prefer winning to losing.

    c. I prefer to win instead of losing.

    d. I prefer winning instead of losing.

    e. I prefer winning rather than losing.

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    #2

    Re: The usages of the word "prefer"

    They're all fine.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: The usages of the word "prefer"

    c. I prefer to win instead of losing.
    Do you English native speakers think that sentence c is a little awkward because it mixed an infinitive with a gerund? Or is it OK in this case?


    Last edited by z7655431; 13-Mar-2016 at 23:06.

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The usages of the word "prefer"

    I'm not a native speaker of English, but here's my two cents.
    Instead of is, in fact, a compound preposition, which makes it impossible for you to use an infinitive after it.

    But if you were to write something like this, I prefer 'to win' instead of 'to lose', then it's fine to use the infinitive, but only within a pair of quotation marks, or maybe you could change the font to italics, I prefer to win instead of to lose, or use the alternate fonts altogether, I prefer to win instead of to lose.

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    #5

    Re: The usages of the word "prefer"

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    I'm not a native speaker of English, but here's my two cents.
    Instead of is, in fact, a compound preposition, which makes it impossible for you to use an infinitive after it.

    But if you were to write something like this, I prefer 'to win' instead of 'to lose', then it's fine to use the infinitive, but only within a pair of quotation marks, or maybe you could change the font to italics, I prefer to win instead of to lose, or use the alternate fonts altogether, I prefer to win instead of to lose.
    "I prefer to win instead of to lose." sounds really weird to me though I'm not an English native speaker. I think it's more common and correct to use "Ving" (a gerund) after "instead of".

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The usages of the word "prefer"

    You're spot on, z7655431.
    Those example sentences of mine were dealing with blocks of text used as objects rather than the actual words.

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    #7

    Re: The usages of the word "prefer"

    I find this more natural:

    "I prefer winning over losing."
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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