Do you prefer this over that?

IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to compare your choice and preference. Although there is no such rule that best describes the way of answering IELTS questions, it is always better for you to know some language tips on how to answer do you prefer this over that?

When an IELTS examiner asks you such questions they really have no interest in the content of your answer but in construct. They just want to know whether you can use the right grammatical structure.

First, let’s see some questions under this category

» Do you prefer cycling over riding a bike?
» Do you prefer writing letters or sending emails?
» Do you prefer talking on the phone or chatting online?
» Do you prefer to travel by bike or on foot?

Remember this formula

When the examiner asks you Do you prefer X to Y? type questions, you must:

  1. State which one you prefer.
  2. Compare the two things the examiner mentions.
  3. Give reasons and examples to explain why.

Step: 1

State which one you prefer.



Obviously, the first thing you need to tell the examiner for this type of question is whether you prefer X or Y. Prefer can be followed by either verb-ing or to the verb.

Either

➲Prefer + verb-ing + to/rather than + verb-ing
I prefer eating to cooking.
I prefer baking cakes at home rather than buying them in shops.
I prefer reading a newspaper rather than watching TV.

Or

➲Prefer + to verb + rather than + verb
I prefer to cycle rather than take the bus.
I prefer to eat rather than cook,
I prefer to bake cakes at home rather than buy them in shops.
I prefer to read a newspaper rather than watch TV.

Both these forms are correct and mean exactly the same.

Step: 2

Compare the two things the examiner mentions.


After you have answered which is your preference, you need to make a comparison between these things. Use adjectives to make a caparison. Let’s see some examples

Cycling is so much more convenient than(adj) taking the bus if you’re not traveling
too far.

You may use one of the following comparative structures:

➲X + be + comparative + than +
Watching TV is more interesting than listening to the radio.
Cars are prettier than buses,
➲X+ be + not as +adjective + as + Y
Listening to the radio is not as interesting as watching TV.
Buses are not as pretty as cars.

Step: 3

Give reasons and examples to explain why.


Now as your final step extend your answer with two or three reasons for your choice. Start your answer by using some discourse markers. Let’s see this example:

Actually(discourse marker), it’s often fasteto go by bike because you don’t get Stuck in traffic jams. Cycling is also better for my health than all other means of transport, including buses.[/mepr-show]

To conclude how to answer do you prefer this over that:-

Step 1: Choose one thing from the asked two
Step 2: Give a reason why is it so for you by using comparative adjectives
Step 3: Extend your answer by giving reasons and examples
I prefer cycling to travelling by bus. Cycling is so much more convenient than traveling by bus if you’re not traveling, too far. Actually, it is often faster to go by bike because you don’t get stuck in 11 Allie jams! Cycling is also better for my health than all other means of transport, including buses.

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