I don't wanna go for shopping, I would rather like to play football

Is this sentence correct? If yes what does the word "rather" mean here and what are other ways, if any, to use it in daily conversations?

  • Better to say, "I don't want to go shopping, I would rather play football". Mar 24 '16 at 16:04

Your sentence is almost correct: you don't need "like to" after "rather":

I don't want to go shopping: I would rather play football

Used in this way, the meaning is "prefer to"

I don't want to go shopping: I would prefer to play football

Other examples might include

I would rather cycle than walk

I would rather stay at home, if you don't mind.

I would rather not. (I would prefer not to do it)

I would rather you didn't do that. (a polite version of "Don't do that!")

It compares two things, so you can use it about two options where you like both:

I like ice cream and chocolate, but I would rather have chocolate.

or when you don't like either option:

I would rather be poor than sick.

This one is probably metaphorical rather than literal:

I would rather go blind than watch my football team be defeated again.

  • "go for shopping" sounds odd to me. More natural would be "go shopping". Mar 24 '16 at 16:09
  • @ghostarbeiter: cut and paste job. Thanks for pointing that out.
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 24 '16 at 16:15
  • Nice answer. You might add that I don't want to go shopping, I would rather play football is a run on (comma splice) sentence. It should be two sentences split at the comma. I don't want to go shopping. I would rather play football.
    – Adam
    Mar 24 '16 at 16:26
  • @Adam: Agreed. I'll go half way and change it to a colon.
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 24 '16 at 16:58
  • Actually it's the kind of conversational sentence where many good writers would happily use a comma if their copy-editors let them get away with it. Apr 17 '18 at 14:52

The meaning of "rather" in this sentence could be covered by definitions 4 or 7 of dictionary.com:

  • sooner; more readily or willingly
  • instead of

or wordreference.com (Random House), definitions 3 or 5:

  • preferably; more willingly
  • instead; on the contrary

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