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I was going to give something away for free so I said:

I’d rather have someone enjoy it, than to waste it.

I wanted to say that I decided to give it to someone to enjoy it, instead of wasting it.

Firstly, is 'to' correct, being used in the sentence above?

Secondly, can I say:

I wanted someone to enjoy it, than to waste it.

or

I want someone to enjoy it, than to waste it.

instead of the first sentence?

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No, to is not correct - there is no to in the first phrase, so you don't need one in the second.

I'd rather [verb] than [verb].

If you don't use rather in the first phrase, it needs to go in the second.

I wanted someone to enjoy it, rather than waste it/let it be wasted.

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    "I wanted someone to enjoy it, rather than waste it." could mean you were disappointed that the person you gave it to wasted it rather than enjoyed it. (I wanted someone to enjoy it, not waste it.) Switching from "I would" to "I want{ed}" changes the sense. "I would rather be a bird than a worm." doesn't feel the the same to me as "I wanted to be a bird rather than be a worm."
    – ColleenV
    Apr 15, 2021 at 12:56
  • @ColleenV Yes, I agree that 'let it be wasted' is better. Apr 15, 2021 at 15:49
  • Something still troubles me about wanted though. "I was going to give something away, so I said "I wanted someone to enjoy it, rather than let it be wasted." isn't right We would use "I wanted" if we had already given something away and were explaining why. It should be "want", shouldn't it?
    – ColleenV
    Apr 15, 2021 at 16:06
  • @ColleenV You're right. I was concentrating on the use of than rather than the tense. Apr 15, 2021 at 16:37
  • Thank you for all of your answers. So, by the things I’ve found out till now, I know that rather doesn’t need to. That’s clear for me now. The tense of verb that should be used is a bit of a bewilderment. So, @ColleenV says that I should use present for it and I think it’s somehow better. I want to give it away, rather than let it be wasted.. So, please let me know if there are any other good ways to say this. Secondly, if I want to talk about present, wanted can still be correct, letting alone the message conveyed, right? Apr 15, 2021 at 17:53

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