I hate techno music. But this week isn’t just an opportunity for me to say how much I hate it. It is just used as an example to show the often incorrect use of the word ‘prefer.’
In English, we use prefer a lot, but you need to say that you prefer something to something else. For example, ‘I prefer tea to coffee’, or ‘I prefer football to tennis.’ You can’t just say you prefer or don’t prefer something. It need to have a comparison.
So, back to our example. While it is fine to say, I prefer jazz to techno music, you cannot simply state ‘I don’t prefer techno music.’ If you wish to simply talk about one thing without comparing it to something else, it is better to simply say if you like something or not. So – What do I think of techno music? I don’t like it.
Alternatively, if you want to soften it – so not to offend someone who might like the thing you don’t – you can say the phrase, ‘I’m not a big fan.’ So – to use another music example:
Czech student: What do you think of Karel Gott?
Me: I’m not a big fan.