Quick answer
"Rather" is an adverb which is often translated as "preferir", and "prefer" is a transitive verb which is also often translated as "preferir". Learn more about the difference between "rather" and "prefer" below.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (in comparisons)
a. preferir
I would rather die than vote for him.Prefiero morir que votar por él.
2. (quite)
a. bastante
Under the guidance of Pope Francis, the church is becoming rather socially oriented. Bajo la dirección del Papa Francisco, la iglesia se está orientando bastante hacia lo social.
3. (somewhat)
a. algo
I feel rather tired despite having slept for eight hours last night. Me siento algo cansado a pesar de haber dormido ocho horas anoche.
b. poco
She was rather bored during the date. Ella estaba un poco aburrida durante la cita.
4. (more accurately)
a. mejor dicho
He has been in business, or rather at his fruit stand, for 15 years now. Ha tenido un negocio, o mejor dicho un puesto de frutas, ahora por 15 años.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to like better)
a. preferir
I don't understand my sister! She prefers staying at home to going to the movies with me.¡No hay quién entienda a mi hermana! Prefiere quedarse en casa a ir conmigo al cine.
b. gustar más
I prefer cooler weather.Me gusta más un clima más fresco.
2. (legal)
a. presentar
The wife preferred charges of desertion and non-support.La esposa presentó cargos por deserción y falta de apoyo.
3. (to promote)
a. ascender
Our parish priest was preferred to bishop.El cura de nuestra parroquia fue ascendido a obispo.
4. (to appoint)
a. nombrar
The pope preferred Robert Francis as the bishop of Chiclayo.El papa nombró a Robert Francis como obispo de Chiclayo.
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