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‘Prefer’ vs ‘Perfer’: How to Spell it Correctly?

Shaun Connell
February 28, 2024

Are you wondering which is correct between 'prefer' vs. 'perfer?' If so, you came to the right place.

Here is the short answer in case you are in a hurry: 

  • 'Prefer' is the correct way to spell the verb that means to give priority to one over another. 
  • 'Perfer' is a common misspelling of 'prefer.'

The overview above clarifies which of these spellings you should use. However, there is much more to learn. So, keep reading!

'Prefer' vs. 'Perfer,' What Is the Correct Spelling?

Between 'prefer' vs. 'prefer', only the former is a correct spelling.

  • 'Prefer' is the verb form of the noun 'preference,' which means the act of preferring or the state of being preferred.
  • 'Perfer' is always a misspelling and grammatical error. Therefore, you should never use the second spelling.

The confusion around the spelling of 'prefer' typically comes from people mispronouncing it, which we will cover a little later.

Definition of 'Prefer': What Does 'Prefer' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the 'prefer' is a verb defined as:

  • To advance or be promoted to a rank or position
  • To like best or better than other options
  • To give priority to one over others
  • To set forward or bring before someone
  • To recommend
  • To bring forward or lay against someone
  • To bring forward or lay before someone for their consideration

Synonyms of 'Prefer'

Synonyms are words that you can use instead of another word. Knowing synonyms is beneficial whether you are writing a best-selling book or a letter to a close friend.

Using synonyms helps to keep your writing from sounding repetitive and keeps readers interested in your message. So, here are some synonyms you can use for 'prefer':

  • Like
  • Rather
  • Enjoy
  • Favor
  • Pick
  • Choose
  • Relish
  • Select
  • Adore
  • Appreciate
  • Fancy
  • Desire
  • Dig
  • Admire
  • Crave
  • Take
  • Tend
  • Be partial to
  • Bias
  • Name
  • Single out
  • Covet
  • Handpick
  • Value
  • Treasure
  • Prize

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Prefer'

As I mentioned previously, many people confuse the spelling and pronunciation of 'prefer.' So, take a look at this pronunciation guide.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'prefer':


As you can see, knowing the correct pronunciation of 'prefer' makes it clear that the term starts with pre, not per. 

Writing Tips: When and How to Use 'Prefer'

You learned that 'prefer' is the correct spelling. However, you may still be wondering exactly how to use the term.

So, here are some tips: 

  • Use 'prefer' to say that you favor one option over others.

For example, you can say:

I enjoyed all of the decadent restaurants we ate at on our journeys. However, I prefer to eat at places that offer healthy options. 

  • Use 'prefer' to say that you would rather not do something.

As an example, I might say:

I would prefer not to make a formal complaint if the issue can be handled without one.

  • Use 'prefer' to say that you like one person over another for a rank or position.

So, you could say:

All of the candidates have excellent credentials and experience. However, I prefer Janet for the management role.

  • Use 'prefer' to express your desire for one over others.

For example, I might write:

Out of all of the properties that we visited, I prefer the last one. It has everything we are looking for, and it is less than our budget. 

  • Use 'prefer' to ask which option someone would rather have.

As an example, you could ask:

For dinner, would you prefer to go to a hole-in-the-wall or a five-star restaurant?

  • Use 'prefer' to say your favorite.

So, I might say:

I prefer cold brew coffee with sweet cream cold foam. If they don't have that, I will settle for a vanilla latte. 

Sample Sentences Using 'Prefer'

Now, read through these sample sentences using 'prefer' to ensure that you remember the correct spelling and how to use it.


  • I prefer a light lunch, especially when I have a lot to do in the afternoon, because I get tired after eating a big meal.
  • Would you prefer to hang out at my house or yours?
  • When we go out to eat, I prefer paying for the entire tab instead of getting separate checks.
  • Good morning; if you prefer to meet with me next week, that is fine. However, I will only be available on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because I am going out of town on Thursday.
  • Would you prefer to be poor and live until you are ninety or be rich and live until you are seventy?
  • I do not have a preference for the color of the flowers for the centerpieces; which do you prefer?
  • Would you honestly tell me if you preferred one color over another?
  • The one you prefer is your favorite; however, you can relate to others as well.
  • I prefer to live in the moment without being consumed by the past or stressed about the future.
  • We preferred to celebrate our grandmother's ninetieth birthday with her, but we weren't feeling well and didn't want to get her sick.
  • If you prefer not to work on deadlines, a career in freelance writing might not be right for you.

Wrapping Up: Which is Correct Between 'Prefer' vs. 'Perfer'

Finally, here is a recap of what you learned about which is spelled correctly between 'prefer' vs. 'perfer': 

  • 'Prefer' is the correct spelling of the verb that means to like best or better than others. 
  • 'Perfer' is a misspelling that you should avoid using. 

There are many words like 'prefer' that confuse writers of all skill levels. There is no shame in looking up the grammatically correct way to use a term.

However, finding the answers to questions like these from reliable sources can be challenging. You can use this site to verify the meanings of words, brush up on your grammar and writing skills, and find more effective ways to pitch stories.

Whether you have questions about how to use or spell other words or want to secure more high-paying writing jobs, you will find valuable information here.

So, check out a few more posts before you leave, and let me know your thoughts.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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