'instead of' versus 'rather than'
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I choose tea instead of coffee.
I choose tea rather than coffee.
If you want to have your meal at seven o'clock instead of five o'clock, you can.
If you want to have your meal at seven o'clock rather than five o'clock, you can.
What are the respective possible contexts of them? It just seems very similar in meaning to me. But is there any difference to discern ? Maybe, let's say, 'rather than' convey a feeling of dislike, while 'instead of' is neutral - I'm not sure.
I know that 'instead of' is a preposition. Is 'rather than' also one?
Re: 'instead of' versus 'rather than'
1- I choose tea, not coffee-replacement.
2- Express preference or comparison.