Preference and lack of preference. If something is (or has been) mentioned as alternative ( for comparison), preference nay be expressed by

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                           Preference and lack of preference

A.  Preference

 If something is (or has been) mentioned as alternative ( for comparison), preference nay be expressed by:

 I prefer...- formal, semi-formal style

eg   a. I prefer tea to coffee.

b.   - Do you like travelling by train?

- Not very much. I prefer air travel on the whole. It’s so much quicker.

If there is no specific comparison, like best/ favourite should be used.

Eg    - Which English poets do you like best?

- I enjoy reading all romantic poets but Keats is my favourite.

I like...better - non-formal

Eg   - You’ve had your hair done differently, haven’t you?

- Yes, I wanted a new style.

- I like it better that way.

I’d rather... - non-formal. With have this may be used of general preferences.

Eg  a. -Shall we go shopping this morning?

- I’d really rather leave it till tomorrow if you don’t mind.

b.   - Would you like tea or coffee?

- Well, I ‘d rather have tea if  it’s not much trouble. Coffee keeps me awake.

I’d prefer - formal, semi-formal

B.  Lack of preference

I like them both/ all.

I haven’t got any particular preference.

I can’t say I prefer any/ one particular..( eg  book)

They both/all have  ( certain ) advantages/ advantages and disadvantages.

It depends...(on...)

Eg   - Where do you like to go for your holiday?

-  It depends how much money I’ve got.

In reply to an offer or suggestion the following forms are used:

I leave it/ that to you ( to decide).

It’s up to you (to decide).

It’s all the same to me.  - This may sound indifferent and not very polite

It makes no difference to me. - //I don’t mind.

Eg  - Which programme would you like to watch?

- I don’t mind. Whichever you like.

I’m easy. - informal

 Illustrative dialogue

RUTH: Do you like watching TV?

MIKE: Not very much. I prefer live entertainment. I often go to the theatres, and to concerts.

R: I see. What sort of music do you like best?

M: Classical music, especially 19th century composers.

R: And who is your favourite composer?

M: Well, I can’t say I’ve got any favourite composer, I like Beethoven very much, and Brahms, and Tchaikovsky.

R: You don’t like modern composers, then?

M: Yes, I quite like some of them but I prefer more traditional music on the whole.

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