Would Rather Activities

"Would you rather" and "I would rather" are common in English. We use them to discuss preferences. They can be a challenge for students.

Most lesson plans focus on the correct form of the verb after rather. This is great, but what about having some fun too?  Here are three activities you can use for rather. 

Would You Rather Survey

This activity works well because it gets students moving around and interacting with their classmates. It also allows them to find out more about other students and their opinions.

Students create 3-6 "would you rather" questions.

Encourage them to create questions that are hypothetical and fun. For example:

  • Would you rather be able to fly or swim under water like a fish?
  • Would you rather meet Brad Pitt or Barak Obama?
  • Would you rather be deaf or blind?

You will be surprised how creative the students can be with their questions.

After they have finished their questions and the teacher has checked them, the students then mingle around asking their classmates the questions. They should record the results from each person.

In the end, the students should have a survey completed for each of the questions. This way they are able to say that 7 people would rather be able to fly and 8 people would rather be able to swim under water.

Finally, the students report their findings to the class. This results in sentences such as these:

  • Most people would rather live in a warm country.
  • Everyone would rather meet Brad Pitt than meet Barak Obama.
  • 75% of the people would rather have unlimited pizza than have unlimited ice cream.

Rather/Prefer Dialogoues

In this activity, students create dialogues and present them to the class.

Students work in pairs. The teacher gives each pair a situation containing two choices. An example looks like this:


  • Montreal or New York?
  • Hotel or Hostel?

The students then create dialogues form these choices. They must use would rather and would prefer. Finally, they present their dialogues to the class. The presentations are short, with really only about 5-8 sentences.

Here is an example:

A: So we need to talk about our vacation.

B: I know. Would you rather go to Montreal of New York?

A: Well, I think I would rather go to Montreal. I have never been there, and I would love to practice some French.

B: OK., I think that is a great idea. And where should we stay?

A: I don't know. Would you prefer to stay in a hotel or a hostel?

B: I'd prefer to stay in a hotel. It would be nice to stay in a fancy hotel with a pool.

A: Great idea!

You can see the dialogues aren't too lengthy, but there are still several examples of the target language.

Around the Circle with "I'd Rather"

This game is perhaps the most popular for pratcicing Rather and Prefer. I have seen it many times on the Internet and in different books.

The students are in a circle or seated at their desks. The first student starts by making a statement such as these:

  • I'd like pizza for dinner.
  • I'd like to travel to Argentina.
  • I'd like a bicycle.

The next student simply says "I'd rather" and then adds another idea. It looks like this:

A: I'd like rice for lunch.

B: I'd rather eat chicken.

C: I'd rather eat pasta.

The game works best when the students increase the value of the item only slightly so that in the end they have arrived at the best possible choice. I usually use money as my example to show them how to progress.

A: I'd like $5.

B: I'd rather have $10.

C: I'd rather have $25.

D: I'd rather have $100.

In this way, the final answer is really the best option of all. So conversations will go from eating bread to lobster, or from driving a bicycle to driving a helicopter.

In another way, it can simply be used to show student opinion. For example, discussing famous people to meet allows the students to give their opinion. So while one might say Lady Gaga, another will say Cristiano Ronaldo or Barack Obama.

Those are some activities for would you rather and would you prefer. If you are interested in some online lessons and tests, take a look at the links below:

Rather/Prefer Lesson

Rather/Prefer Test

Rather/Prefer Test 2

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