General English Level 6 V 3
UNIT 03 Changing jobs TOPIC 04 The interview
LANGUAGE FOCUS 05 Expressing willingness, unwillingness and preferences

1. Preference

Rani says:
… my current company is moving and I would prefer to be based here.
I would rather work somewhere local but I don't mind travelling occasionally.


Rani is comparing the two situations of working locally and working far from her home. She prefers to work locally.

When we like one situation more than another, we can use would prefer to and would rather to show our preference.

I would rather be my own boss than work for someone else.
She take the train to work. (than drive).
I (would) prefer to work outdoors (than indoors).
They employ university graduates.

We can also use I don't mind when we feel equally about both situations.


I would like to work in a factory, but I don't mind working in an office.

I don't care has a different meaning. It shows that you are not really interested in either situation. It is also not very polite.


Would you rather work day or night shifts?
I don't mind; both options are OK.


2. Willingness

Rani says:
I'm keen to take on more responsibilities and further my knowledge.


Rani shows she is willing to do something.

We can use expressions such as be keen to, be happy to, would, will, be willing to and don't mind doing to show willingness.

I'm keen to travel overseas with my job.
I'd be
I'm willing to start immediately.
I'd be
I'm happy to take on a heavier workload.
I'd be
I don't mind working on the weekend.
will commute up to an hour if required.


1 Read the examples.
2 Listen to the examples.
3 Practise saying each example. Use the Pause button.
I'd be happy to help you with your presentation.
I would be willing to work in the branch office for a short time.
I will work overtime during the week, but not at the weekend.
I don't mind staying late to finish the report.
I'm keen to learn new things to help further my career.


3. Unwillingness

Rani says:
Well if necessary, I guess about an hour each way would be my limit.
I don't mind some solitary work, as long as I have contact with others for at least some part of my day.


Rani shows she is not willing to do some things. She uses if necessary to show that she will do the things if she really has to. We can also use if I have to.

When she says I don't mind, she uses as long as to put a condition on the thing she doesn't want to do. We can also use if or unless.

I would make coffee for the boss if I had to.
will I have to.
don't mind making
as long as
others do, too.

We can also use I'm not too keen on and I wouldn't be too keen on, I don't really want to and I'd rather not to express unwillingness.

I'd rather not listen to this.
I'm not too keen on the new plan.  
I wouldn't be working in Africa.
I don't really want to go to the office party.

If we want to express our unwillingness very strongly, we say I don't want to, or I won't.


1 Read the examples.
2 Listen to the examples.
3 Practise saying each example. Use the Pause button.
I wouldn't be too keen on teaching children. I'd prefer to teach adults.
I don't really want to move unless I get a promotion.
If necessary, I would relocate, but I'd rather stay here.
I'd rather not repeat what she told me.
I don't want to work on the new project.


Now go to 06 PRACTICE Rani's interview.


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