I want to write a sentence to a friend indicating that instead of looking at the one thing, it's better to look at something else. Do I say, "I'd rather" or I'll rather" look?


I would rather / I'd rather

This is an example of the subjunctive -- something that refers to possibilities rather than facts.

Since you are giving your friend advice on what to do, it may or may not be done:

I would rather look at something else (if I were you).

Anytime the situation is theoretical, or not certain, you should use the subjunctive ("I would rather").

Don't forget to capitalize "I".

I will rather / I'll rather

We discussed in the comments whether "I will rather" ("I'll rather") also exists. Google N-grams confirms that "I will rather" has almost disappeared, but it was more common before 1900.

Here are a couple of ways that "I will rather" may make sense:

  • When I die, I will rather be cremated than buried.
  • When I go to Italy next year, I will rather visit my birthplace than my uncle.
  • When I go to Greece next year, I will rather go to the islands than the mainland.

In each of these cases, the speaker is certain, and it is not theoretical.

The first one -- death -- is especially certain. It may not make sense to say:

  • If I eventually die, I would rather be cremated than buried.

Feel free to use "I will rather" if you have a situation where you are certain of the future.

  • Thank you very much. is there such a thing as "I'll rather" or do we always have to say "I'd rather" – Theodora M Apr 18 '19 at 12:01
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    With theoretical situations we use would. – Davo Apr 18 '19 at 14:48
  • I tried to think of an example of “I will rather” when I was writing the answer, but I couldn’t think of one. Google n-grams confirms that “I will rather” has almost disappeared, but it was very common before 1900. I agree that it requires a certainty to say “I will.” – whiskeychief Apr 19 '19 at 1:00
  • I've added to the answer an explanation of when you can use "I will rather". Feel free to check the checkmark icon if this answer worked for you! – whiskeychief Apr 19 '19 at 1:20
  • Somebody downvoted. Any reason? – whiskeychief Apr 19 '19 at 12:24

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