Let's say that there is an event scheduled to take place in the near future and I would like to express that I think that it really shouldn't. Which one is correct:

A: I wonder whether it'll take place. I'd prefer it didn't, because of the virus.

B: I wonder whether it'll take place. I'd prefer it won't, because of the virus.

Based on my gut feel and this question I'd say that A is correct.

Are there any circumstances in which B would be correct? If I was talking about past event instead, I'd say "I'd prefer it hadn't happened"?

  • 1
    I agree that A is correct. I don't think B is correct anywhere. At the start of your question, you used "take part" as if it meant "take place"; it doesn't. To "take part" means to participate, as a person might do. You correctly used "take place" in the rest of the question. And, yes, you have the correct form for a past event. May 16, 2020 at 19:33
  • No; there are no circumstances in which "I'd prefer it won't" could ever be correct. Even "I'd prefer it wouldn't" would be highly dubious. "I'd prefer it not" could be acceptable idiomatically, but how would that work in grammar? What language is the idea translated from and exactly what wording was that originally? I won't but I hope others will be able to explain… Jun 17, 2020 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


It's a counter-factual clause, so it uses the past didn't.

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