Rather

Have you ever heard 'rather' in a conversation? Don't you wanna know all about it? Come with me then.

How To Use "Rather" in English?

'Rather' is an adverb in the English language. In this lesson, we are going to discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Rather'

'Rather' as an Adverb

As stated above, the only function 'rather' performs is an adverb. Below, we are going to learn all about the different kinds of adverbs it can be:

Use

'Rather' as an Adverb of Degree

As you know we have two types of Adverbs of degree that are intensifiers and mitigators. 'Rather' is a mitigator which means that it lessens the effect of what we are saying. Look below:

  • When we want to say that is in a particular way to some degree:

I know you care about me but I rather spend some time on my own.

It is a rather big stable.

  • When we want to make a sentence less important:

They've rather participated in religious contests.

Jeremy is rather old for this.

  • When we want to add extra information or correct what we have said, we use it:

It's too important, or rather, more important than what you're saying.

He was a literature student, or rather, an Italian Literature student.

  • When we want to show that one idea opposes the other, we use it:

She wasn't rude, but rather courageous.

The humans didn't disappear, but they rather looked extremely small.

Position in a Sentence

'Rather' mainly comes either before an adjective and modifies it, or before a verb and modifies it. Please note that if we have an auxiliary verb, we put the adverb between the auxiliary and the main verb. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

It was rather impolite of you to talk to like that.

Here, 'rather' is mitigating an adjective.

I've rather enjoyed time with family.

Here, we have 'rather' between the auxiliary and the main verb.

Idioms and Expressions with 'Rather'

We have a few idioms with 'rather' in the English language and by learning them, you can expand your vocabulary and idiomatic knowledge. Below, we are going to learn all about them:

  • Rather than: When we want to show that we prefer something/someone to another, we use this one:

The children like to play rather than listen to your useless words.

I want to have a nice cup of coffee rather than a cold beverage.

  • Rather someone: When we want to show that we prefer someone else does something than ourselves, we use this:

A : I'm really gonna have a serious conversation with her.

B : Rather you than me!

  • Would rather: Again, we use this when we prefer something/someone to another:

I'm sorry but I'd rather not talk to anyone right now.

The Pope would rather read the Bible than engage in fruitless arguments.

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