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    #1

    "I mean" and "or rather"

    Do you say "I mean" and "or rather" interchageably?


    I mean
    informal
    1 — used to emphasize a statement
    ▪ He has to stop drinking. I mean, he's going to kill himself if he keeps it up.
    ▪ He throws, I mean, really hard!
    2 — used to correct a previous statement
    ▪ We met in Toronto—I mean Montreal.
    3 — used when you are unsure of what to say or how to say it
    ▪ I'm not mad. It's just that, I mean, I think you've been acting a little selfishly.


    rather
    2 a — used to introduce a statement that indicates what is true after you have said what is not true
    ▪ I don't like chocolate—rather, I love chocolate.
    ▪ What matters is not how often you call, but rather what you say.
    ▪ It wasn't red but rather a shade of bright orange.
    b — used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said
    ▪ We can take the car, or rather, the van.
    ▪ My father, or rather, my stepfather, will be visiting soon.

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    #2

    Re: "I mean" and "or rather"

    The answer to your question is sometimes.
    .
    When 'I mean' is used to emphasize a statement or when you are unsure of what to say or how to say it, I wouldn't substitute 'rather.'

    When 'I mean' is used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said I would use 'rather' interchangeably.

    I wouldn't use 'I mean' to introduce a statement that indicates what is true after you have said what is not true -- at least not in statements you given
    as examples.

    Others may not agree so I hope you get some further comments.

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