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Thread: work ???

  1. #1
    thomas615 is offline Member
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    Default work ???

    This sentence is said to be correct. Why "work" and not "worked"? past tense

    There were 10 of us so we just split the bill between us rather than work it out exactly.

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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: work ???

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    This sentence is said to be correct. Why "work" and not "worked"? past tense

    There were 10 of us so we just split the bill between us rather than work it out exactly.
    Please don't just say 'is said to be correct'; tell is who said it.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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    Finicky is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: work ???

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    This sentence is said to be correct. Why "work" and not "worked"? past tense

    There were 10 of us so we just split the bill between us rather than work it out exactly.
    work = bare infinitive form (tenseless)

    rather than = phrasal quasi-coordinator (Quirk et al.)

    There were 10 of us so we just split the bill between us rather than work it out exactly.
    There were 10 of us so we just split the bill between us rather than working it out exactly.
    There were 10 of us so we just split the bill between us rather than worked it out exactly.

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    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: work ???

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Thomas:

    (1) I think that some experts might actually let you use "worked."


    (2) Look at this:

    "The results of the study added to the controversy rather than ended it."

    (a) "Curiously, when the rather than construction follows the main verb, it can use other verb forms besides the bare infinitive ['end']."

    (i) Thus you could probably say "We just split the bill rather than worked it out exactly."



    (ii) But if "rather than" did NOT follow the main verb ("split"), then you would have to say:

    "Rather than working it out exactly, we just split the bill."

    (3) Some people just give up and refuse to use "rather than." They just use "instead of" + a gerund, and they will always be

    correct:

    "We just split the bill between us instead of working it out exactly."

    Source of this information: The American Heritage Book of English Usage, 1996. "2. Style: Parallelism, Passives, Redundancy, and Wordiness. 6. Rather than." (I read it on the Web on April 11, 2009. If you can access this article, you will find it most helpful.)

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