I've heard that it is grammatically incorrect to use a gerund after would prefer, for example, you say "I'd prefer to walk" not "I'd prefer walking".
But I'm almost sure that I have heard a sentence like "I'd prefer walking to driving".
I was wondering if it is because in the former there is only one option, whereas in the latter there are two options and you are comparing two things.
I know we can use a gerund after prefer, as in "I prefer driving." Is it also possible to use it after would prefer, and say "I'd prefer driving"?

  • It's not clear to me what the question is.
    – dangph
    Jan 19, 2015 at 6:22
  • "it is grammatically incorrect" -- source?
    – Kris
    Jan 19, 2015 at 6:43
  • "I would prefer to" requires a verb, not a noun. A gerund like "walking" here would be a noun, not a verb: "I'd prefer walking to driving" -- walking and driving are nouns here.
    – Kris
    Jan 19, 2015 at 6:45
  • @Kris Source: English Grammar in Use Jan 19, 2015 at 6:53
  • @Kris, I would prefer strawberry to chocolate. That sounds grammatical to me.
    – dangph
    Jan 19, 2015 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


You can use gerunds if you're using would in a conditional statement, e.g.

I would prefer walking over driving if my legs were in better shape.

But if you're just making a general statement about your preferences, would prefer is normally followed by a verb.

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