Would rather is used to express a preference in English. Would rather is the same in meaning as would prefer. These two phrases are used interchangeably to express a preference when making a choice. Here are some examples of short conversations that use would rather to either state or ask for a preference.
John: Lets go out tonight.Mary: Thats a good idea.John: How about going to a film? Theres a newfilm out with Tom Hanks.Mary: Id rather go out for dinner. Im hungry!Sue: Im not sure which topic to choose for myessay.Debby: Well, what are your choices?Sue: I can write about the economy or about abook.Debby: Which would you rather write about?
The form would rather is a little strange because rather is not a verb but is part of an expression that means would prefer to. Rather is usually immediately followed by a verb in base form (verb without to). Its common to use would rather in the shortened d rather form in positive statements. All subjects take would rather. Would rather can be used to refer to the present moment or a future moment in time.
Subject + would rather (d rather) + base form of verb Peterd rather spend time on the beach. I would rather learn a new language than study math.
Would + subject + rather + base form of verb Would you rather stay at home? Would they rather do homework tomorrow morning?
Would rather is often used with than with two verbs or objects when making a choice between two specific actions. Would you rather work for Tom than for Mary? She would rather play tennis than go horseback riding.