Alternative forms Edit
Anglo-Norman and preferer Middle French , (French preferer ), from préférer Latin . praeferō
prefer ( third-person singular simple present , prefers present participle , preferring simple past and past participle ) preferred
( transitive , now dated ) To advance, promote (someone). [from 14
( transitive ) To be in the habit of choosing something rather than something else; to favor; to like better. [from 14
I prefer tea to coffee.
1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, :
The Younger Set
"My tastes," he said, still smiling, "incline me to the garishly sunlit side of this planet." And, to tease her and arouse her to combat: "I
prefer a farandole to a nocturne; I'd rather have a painting than an etching; Mr. Whistler bores me with his monochromatic mud; I don't like dull colours, dull sounds, dull intellects; [… ]."
( transitive ) To present or submit (something) to an authority (now usually in "to prefer charges"). [from 16 thc.]
( obsolete , transitive ) To put forward for acceptance; to introduce, recommend ( ). to [16
1630, John Smith, True Travels, in Kupperman 1988, p.36:
one Master David Hume, who making some use of his purse, gave him Letters to his friends in Scotland to
preferre him to King James.
1817, Walter Scott, , XVII:
Such were the arguments which my will boldly
preferred to my conscience, as coin which ought to be current, and which conscience, like a grumbling shopkeeper, was contented to accept [… ].
Usage notes Edit
The verb can be used in three different forms:
prefer + noun + to (or over) + noun. Example: I prefer coffee to tea.
prefer + gerund + to (or over) + gerund. Example: I prefer skiing to swimming.
prefer + full infinitive + rather than + bare infinitive. Example: I prefer to eat fish rather than (eat) meat.
Derived terms Edit