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Thread: grammar

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default grammar

    :?
    I don't understand the choices for the following sentences. Please help me.

    1. __ man has learned much form the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?

    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?

    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?

    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?

    Thanks!

    Jiang

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :?
    I don't understand the choices for the following sentences. Please help me.
    1. __ man has learned much from the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?
    No. You are close, but the word "much" adds a difference to the structure. In the correct version, "that" is a conjunction that exists to introduce a noun clause (which functions as the subject of the sentence]: That man has learned much from animals. If you change "that" to "what", what becomes a pronoun that must function as the object of the clausal verb. Then, "much" becomes a problem, because it is the clausal object. If you remove "much", the sentence would work with either "that" or "what", but the sentences would have different meanings.

    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?
    No, you can't. This one is rather complex. There is a grammar issue with "due to" versus "owing to" as a compound preposition. Classically, grammarians have objected to "due to" as a preposition, preferring "due" to be only an adjective. In this construction, the main clause boils down to: part has been due to collapse and effect. The preposition "owing to" does not fit there. The verb is a linking verb and calls for a noun or adjective as a complement. In this case "due" is an adjective, meaning "capable of being attributed" and the "to collapse and effect" is a trailing prepositional phrase.

    BTW, the objection to "due to" as a preposition is ignored by most.


    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?
    This is pretty picky in my opinion. The choice of "needn't" is better because of the modal "could" in the second sentence. If "shouldn't" is used in the first, it should also be used in the second. This has to do with the meanings of modals. "Needn't have" means it wasn't necessary; could gives an alternative. "Shouldn't have" means a rule. Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.

    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?
    "Rather than" can be a conjunction or a preposition. As a conjunction it means "and not", as "in shaken rather than stirred". It is that use that calls for parallel items. In this case, "rather than" is a preposition calling for a noun object. Choice a is the best; it is a bare infinitive noun. I would also say that choice c is correct; that would be a gerund noun. The only reason to choose a over c is that an infinitive is often used for potential action and a gerund is often used for actual action. Since this action has not occurred, the infinitive would be more idiomatic.

    Thanks!

    Jiang
    You're welcome! :D

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    1. __ man has learned much form the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?
    Note the difference between that man and what man. If I say that man is my father I am making a statement. If I say what man is my father I am asking a question.

    With that man has learned much from the behavior of animals you have either a statement or a subject clause. With what man has learned much from the behavior of animals you have a question, and you cannot make it into the subject of a sentence.

    Does that help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?

    I think you can use owing to, but you would have to rearrange the rest of the words in the sentence. (That wouldn't be a bad idea.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?
    I agree. You could use either answer there. I suppose it could be argued that the second sentence is less likely with b, but either answer fits that sentence.



    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?
    No, you can't. Only one of the choices fits that sentence.

    :)

  4. #4
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: grammar

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you so much for your expalnation. I understand them perfectly.
    However, I'd like to make sure I am right.
    1. In sentence one is it possible to use much as an adverb and use what?
    2. For sentence 3 your sentence 'Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.' Since I have had a very difficult time with the word 'either' I am particularly want to make sure that the sentence means 'shouldn't have means a rule'. Am I right?
    3. In sentence 4 'a' is correct. But as you said it is a preposition it means preposition can be followed by infinitive. Is this what you mean by 'bare infinitive noun'? I haven't hearf of this expression. So please forgiveme for asking such silly questions.

    Thank you again for your patience.

    Jiang




    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :?
    I don't understand the choices for the following sentences. Please help me.
    1. __ man has learned much from the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?
    No. You are close, but the word "much" adds a difference to the structure. In the correct version, "that" is a conjunction that exists to introduce a noun clause (which functions as the subject of the sentence]: That man has learned much from animals. If you change "that" to "what", what becomes a pronoun that must function as the object of the clausal verb. Then, "much" becomes a problem, because it is the clausal object. If you remove "much", the sentence would work with either "that" or "what", but the sentences would have different meanings.

    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?
    No, you can't. This one is rather complex. There is a grammar issue with "due to" versus "owing to" as a compound preposition. Classically, grammarians have objected to "due to" as a preposition, preferring "due" to be only an adjective. In this construction, the main clause boils down to: part has been due to collapse and effect. The preposition "owing to" does not fit there. The verb is a linking verb and calls for a noun or adjective as a complement. In this case "due" is an adjective, meaning "capable of being attributed" and the "to collapse and effect" is a trailing prepositional phrase.

    BTW, the objection to "due to" as a preposition is ignored by most.


    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?
    This is pretty picky in my opinion. The choice of "needn't" is better because of the modal "could" in the second sentence. If "shouldn't" is used in the first, it should also be used in the second. This has to do with the meanings of modals. "Needn't have" means it wasn't necessary; could gives an alternative. "Shouldn't have" means a rule. Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.

    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?
    "Rather than" can be a conjunction or a preposition. As a conjunction it means "and not", as "in shaken rather than stirred". It is that use that calls for parallel items. In this case, "rather than" is a preposition calling for a noun object. Choice a is the best; it is a bare infinitive noun. I would also say that choice c is correct; that would be a gerund noun. The only reason to choose a over c is that an infinitive is often used for potential action and a gerund is often used for actual action. Since this action has not occurred, the infinitive would be more idiomatic.

    Thanks!

    Jiang
    You're welcome! :D

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: grammar

    Dear Ronbee,
    Thank you so much for your explanation. I am sorry to keep disturbing you with silly questions.
    However, as to sentence one we can say 'what he said is correct . This isn't a question. What is the object of said. That why I ask whether we can use what and use much as an adverb.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    1. __ man has learned much form the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?
    Note the difference between that man and what man. If I say that man is my father I am making a statement. If I say what man is my father I am asking a question.

    With that man has learned much from the behavior of animals you have either a statement or a subject clause. With what man has learned much from the behavior of animals you have a question, and you cannot make it into the subject of a sentence.

    Does that help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?

    I think you can use owing to, but you would have to rearrange the rest of the words in the sentence. (That wouldn't be a bad idea.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?
    I agree. You could use either answer there. I suppose it could be argued that the second sentence is less likely with b, but either answer fits that sentence.



    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?
    No, you can't. Only one of the choices fits that sentence.

    :)

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: grammar

    It is quite possible to use much as an adverb, thus:

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear Mike,

    Thank you so much for your expalnation. I understand them perfectly.
    However, I'd like to make sure I am right.
    1. In sentence one is it possible to use much as an adverb and use what?
    2. For sentence 3 your sentence 'Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.' Since I have had a very difficult time with the word 'either' I am particularly want to make sure that the sentence means 'shouldn't have means a rule'. Am I right?
    3. In sentence 4 'a' is correct. But as you said it is a preposition it means preposition can be followed by infinitive. Is this what you mean by 'bare infinitive noun'? I haven't hearf of this expression. So please forgiveme for asking such silly questions.

    Thank you again for your patience.

    Jiang




    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :?
    I don't understand the choices for the following sentences. Please help me.
    1. __ man has learned much from the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?
    No. You are close, but the word "much" adds a difference to the structure. In the correct version, "that" is a conjunction that exists to introduce a noun clause (which functions as the subject of the sentence]: That man has learned much from animals. If you change "that" to "what", what becomes a pronoun that must function as the object of the clausal verb. Then, "much" becomes a problem, because it is the clausal object. If you remove "much", the sentence would work with either "that" or "what", but the sentences would have different meanings.

    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?
    No, you can't. This one is rather complex. There is a grammar issue with "due to" versus "owing to" as a compound preposition. Classically, grammarians have objected to "due to" as a preposition, preferring "due" to be only an adjective. In this construction, the main clause boils down to: part has been due to collapse and effect. The preposition "owing to" does not fit there. The verb is a linking verb and calls for a noun or adjective as a complement. In this case "due" is an adjective, meaning "capable of being attributed" and the "to collapse and effect" is a trailing prepositional phrase.

    BTW, the objection to "due to" as a preposition is ignored by most.


    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?
    This is pretty picky in my opinion. The choice of "needn't" is better because of the modal "could" in the second sentence. If "shouldn't" is used in the first, it should also be used in the second. This has to do with the meanings of modals. "Needn't have" means it wasn't necessary; could gives an alternative. "Shouldn't have" means a rule. Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.

    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?
    "Rather than" can be a conjunction or a preposition. As a conjunction it means "and not", as "in shaken rather than stirred". It is that use that calls for parallel items. In this case, "rather than" is a preposition calling for a noun object. Choice a is the best; it is a bare infinitive noun. I would also say that choice c is correct; that would be a gerund noun. The only reason to choose a over c is that an infinitive is often used for potential action and a gerund is often used for actual action. Since this action has not occurred, the infinitive would be more idiomatic.

    Thanks!

    Jiang
    You're welcome! :D
    1. In sentence one is it possible to use much as an adverb and use what?
    No, there is no place for "much" as an adverb in that sentence. The adverb form is mostly used to modify and emphasize adjectives. In this case "much" is a quantity of something and is a noun. When the sentence starts with "That", it means that "The fact that man has learned much...is not knew." That means that the concept is not knew. When we use "What" (without "much) it means that the content of the learning is not new.

    2. For sentence 3 your sentence 'Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.' Since I have had a very difficult time with the word 'either' I am particularly want to make sure that the sentence means 'shouldn't have means a rule'. Am I right?
    My use of "either" means that the sentence would be grammatical if you use a or if you use b. That is what "either" means. It means a or b. My point was that "needn't" (did not have to) goes better logically with "you could have" in the second sentence. If one had used "shouldn't" in the first, one should have used "should have" in the second.

    3. In sentence 4 'a' is correct. But as you said it is a preposition it means preposition can be followed by infinitive. Is this what you mean by 'bare infinitive noun'? I haven't hearf of this expression. So please forgiveme for asking such silly questions.
    Your questions are not at all silly. The simple fact that you are asking them tells me that you are learning. Infinitives come in two forms, "to infinitives" and "bare infinitives". The bare ones are the most difficult because they drop the "to" marker. In many cases, infinitives are nouns. In this case, it is a noun acting as the object of the preposition "rather than". This is a very sophisticated part of English grammar. IMO, it is not necessary that you know all these things. It is important that you know that "cause" does not become "caused" in this usage.

  8. #8
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: grammar

    :?
    Dear Mike,

    Thank you so much for your explanation. They are very clear.

    I posted another post today. It's about the usage of rather than because I am not clear about one point but I am trying to explain it to see if I am correct. I'd like to compare the sentence I sent you last time and a sentence in a dictionary:
    1. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    For this one 'a' is correct.
    2. He ran rather than walked.
    My observation is:
    If rather than is put in the middle of a sentence, it is a conjunction and paralleled structure should be used. If rather than is put at the beginning of a sentence then it is a preposition and bare infinitive or gerund should be used as you explained last time. So the sentence can be written in two ways:
    Rather than cause trouble, he left. Or He left rather than caused trouble. Am I right?

    Thank you!

    Jiang



    As you said
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear Mike,

    Thank you so much for your expalnation. I understand them perfectly.
    However, I'd like to make sure I am right.
    1. In sentence one is it possible to use much as an adverb and use what?
    2. For sentence 3 your sentence 'Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.' Since I have had a very difficult time with the word 'either' I am particularly want to make sure that the sentence means 'shouldn't have means a rule'. Am I right?
    3. In sentence 4 'a' is correct. But as you said it is a preposition it means preposition can be followed by infinitive. Is this what you mean by 'bare infinitive noun'? I haven't hearf of this expression. So please forgiveme for asking such silly questions.

    Thank you again for your patience.

    Jiang




    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :?
    I don't understand the choices for the following sentences. Please help me.
    1. __ man has learned much from the behavior of animals is hardly new.
    a. That b. What

    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means the fact that man has learned from the animals is hardly new. Or it is not something new that man has learned from animals. The word much is a noun. 'b' means the thing that has learned much from animals is hardly new. Or the content that man has learned from animals is hardly new. Am I right?
    No. You are close, but the word "much" adds a difference to the structure. In the correct version, "that" is a conjunction that exists to introduce a noun clause (which functions as the subject of the sentence]: That man has learned much from animals. If you change "that" to "what", what becomes a pronoun that must function as the object of the clausal verb. Then, "much" becomes a problem, because it is the clausal object. If you remove "much", the sentence would work with either "that" or "what", but the sentences would have different meanings.

    2. During an earthquake, the great part of damage and loss of life has been_______collapse of buildings and the effect of rockslides, rather than from the quakes themselves.
    a. due to b. owing to
    My question is What's the difference between due to and owing to? Can I choose b?
    No, you can't. This one is rather complex. There is a grammar issue with "due to" versus "owing to" as a compound preposition. Classically, grammarians have objected to "due to" as a preposition, preferring "due" to be only an adjective. In this construction, the main clause boils down to: part has been due to collapse and effect. The preposition "owing to" does not fit there. The verb is a linking verb and calls for a noun or adjective as a complement. In this case "due" is an adjective, meaning "capable of being attributed" and the "to collapse and effect" is a trailing prepositional phrase.

    BTW, the objection to "due to" as a preposition is ignored by most.


    3. You ______ the class to tell me that. You could have come up to me afterwards.
    a. needn't have interrupted b. shouldn't have interrupted
    The key is 'a'. But I think 'b' is also correct. 'a' means it was uncessary for you to interrupt me. 'b' means you are wrong in interrupting me. Am I right?
    This is pretty picky in my opinion. The choice of "needn't" is better because of the modal "could" in the second sentence. If "shouldn't" is used in the first, it should also be used in the second. This has to do with the meanings of modals. "Needn't have" means it wasn't necessary; could gives an alternative. "Shouldn't have" means a rule. Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.

    4. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    The answer is 'a'. I know rather than should be followed by parallel parts. Then can I choose d?
    "Rather than" can be a conjunction or a preposition. As a conjunction it means "and not", as "in shaken rather than stirred". It is that use that calls for parallel items. In this case, "rather than" is a preposition calling for a noun object. Choice a is the best; it is a bare infinitive noun. I would also say that choice c is correct; that would be a gerund noun. The only reason to choose a over c is that an infinitive is often used for potential action and a gerund is often used for actual action. Since this action has not occurred, the infinitive would be more idiomatic.

    Thanks!

    Jiang
    You're welcome! :D
    1. In sentence one is it possible to use much as an adverb and use what?
    No, there is no place for "much" as an adverb in that sentence. The adverb form is mostly used to modify and emphasize adjectives. In this case "much" is a quantity of something and is a noun. When the sentence starts with "That", it means that "The fact that man has learned much...is not knew." That means that the concept is not knew. When we use "What" (without "much) it means that the content of the learning is not new.

    2. For sentence 3 your sentence 'Understand that either would be grammatical in the first sentence, however.' Since I have had a very difficult time with the word 'either' I am particularly want to make sure that the sentence means 'shouldn't have means a rule'. Am I right?
    My use of "either" means that the sentence would be grammatical if you use a or if you use b. That is what "either" means. It means a or b. My point was that "needn't" (did not have to) goes better logically with "you could have" in the second sentence. If one had used "shouldn't" in the first, one should have used "should have" in the second.

    3. In sentence 4 'a' is correct. But as you said it is a preposition it means preposition can be followed by infinitive. Is this what you mean by 'bare infinitive noun'? I haven't hearf of this expression. So please forgiveme for asking such silly questions.
    Your questions are not at all silly. The simple fact that you are asking them tells me that you are learning. Infinitives come in two forms, "to infinitives" and "bare infinitives". The bare ones are the most difficult because they drop the "to" marker. In many cases, infinitives are nouns. In this case, it is a noun acting as the object of the preposition "rather than". This is a very sophisticated part of English grammar. IMO, it is not necessary that you know all these things. It is important that you know that "cause" does not become "caused" in this usage.

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    Default Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Thank you so much for your explanation. They are very clear.
    May I make a suggestion? Try:
    • Thank you so much for your explanations. They are very clear.

    Or:
    • Thank you so much for your explanation. It is very clear.


    (The noun and related pronoun need to agree in number.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    I posted another post today. It's about the usage of rather than because I am not clear about one point but I am trying to explain it to see if I am correct. I'd like to compare the sentence I sent you last time and a sentence in a dictionary:
    1. Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    For this one 'a' is correct.
    2. He ran rather than walked.
    I would say:
    • He ran instead of walking.

    Or:
    • Instead of walking, he ran.


    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    My observation is:
    If rather than is put in the middle of a sentence, it is a conjunction and paralleled structure should be used. If rather than is put at the beginning of a sentence then it is a preposition and bare infinitive or gerund should be used as you explained last time. So the sentence can be written in two ways:
    Rather than cause trouble, he left. Or He left rather than caused trouble. Am I right?
    The word "rather" is generally used to mean "in preference to", and I probably wouldn't use it there. Instead, I might say:
    • Because he didn't want to cause trouble, he left.


    Or:

    • Because he didn't want to be the cause of trouble, he left.


    Or:

    • Because he wanted to avoid causing trouble, he left.


    Or:
    • He left because he wanted to avoid causing trouble.


    Or:

    • He left because he didn't want to cause trouble.


    :)

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