Prefer and would rather
A) Prefer to do and prefer doing
You can use “Prefer to do” or “prefer doing “to say what you prefer in general.
I don’t like cities. I prefer to live (or I prefer living) in the country.
I prefer tea to coffee.
Tom prefer to travel rather than by train.
I prefer to live in the country rather than (live) in a city.
Use would prefer to say what want someone wants (to do) in a particular situation. You can say would prefer to (do) or would prefer (do) ing:
Would you prefer tea or coffee?
I‘d prefer to go by car. Or I‘d prefer going by car.
B) After “would rather” we use the base form:
Would you rather have tea or coffee?
I am tired. I‘d rather not to go out this evening, if you don’t mind.
I‘d rather stay at home than go to the movies.
C) Would rather someone did something
When you want someone else to do something, I’d rather you did…/ I’d rather he did…, etc. We use the past in this structure but the meaning is present or future, not past. Compare:
“Shall I stay here?” “Well, I’d rather you come with us.”
I’d rather you didn’t tell anyone what I said.
“Do you mind if I smoke?” “I’d rather you didn’t.”