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    #1

    What's the difference between the two?

    :?
    Last time I ask about the choice

    Rather than ______trouble, he left.
    a. cause b. to cause c. causing d. caused
    And the following is how Mikenewyork explained

    "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.

    I seemed to understand the explanation until it occurred to me there are
    sentences such as 'He ran rather than walked'. In this sentence 'rather than' is a conjunction, if I am correct.

    I'd like to ask whether my understanding is correct or not:

    If 'rather than' is put at the beginning of a sentence then it is a preposition. If it is put in the middle of a sentence then it is a conjunction and then parelleled structure is required.
    So if I write the sentence 'He left rather than caused trouble' it is correct. If I put 'rather than ' at the beginning then it should be ' Rather than cause trouble he left'.

    Am I right?

    Thanks!

    Jiang

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: What's the difference between the two?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    'He ran rather than walked'. In this sentence 'rather than' is a conjunction? So if I write the sentence 'He left rather than caused trouble' it is correct. If I put 'rather than ' at the beginning then it should be ' Rather than cause trouble he left'.

    1. He left rather than caused trouble. (Not OK)

    1. He would rather run than walk. (OK. Comparative Adverb meaning, 'instead of' or 'a choice expressing a more likely alternative. Note the structure: rather Infinitive Verb than Infinitive Verb)

    2. Rather than walk (to the store), he ran. (OK. Adverb; Note, rather than DO something - infintive verb e.g. DO, go, sleep, shop, etc.)

    3a. Rather than cause trouble, he left. (OK, 'Rather than cause trouble' functions as an adverb phrase. It tells us the reason 'He left'.)

    3b. He left rather than caused trouble. (Not OK; Comparative Adverb. 'left' and 'cause trouble', although both are verbs, do not pair semantically; they express a cause & effect relationship: He left because he did not want to cause trouble).

    3c. He ran rather than walked (to the store, like he said he would). (OK. Comparative Adverb. Notice that 'ran' and 'walk' pair semantically).

    All the best,

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What's the difference between the two?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    'He ran rather than walked'. In this sentence 'rather than' is a conjunction? So if I write the sentence 'He left rather than caused trouble' it is correct. If I put 'rather than ' at the beginning then it should be ' Rather than cause trouble he left'.

    1. He left rather than caused trouble. (Not OK)

    1. He would rather run than walk. (OK. Comparative Adverb meaning, 'instead of' or 'a choice expressing a more likely alternative. Note the structure: rather Infinitive Verb than Infinitive Verb)

    2. Rather than walk (to the store), he ran. (OK. Adverb; Note, rather than DO something - infintive verb e.g. DO, go, sleep, shop, etc.)

    3a. Rather than cause trouble, he left. (OK, 'Rather than cause trouble' functions as an adverb phrase. It tells us the reason 'He left'.)

    3b. He left rather than caused trouble. (Not OK; Comparative Adverb. 'left' and 'cause trouble', although both are verbs, do not pair semantically; they express a cause & effect relationship: He left because he did not want to cause trouble).

    3c. He ran rather than walked (to the store, like he said he would). (OK. Comparative Adverb. Notice that 'ran' and 'walk' pair semantically).

    All the best,
    Excellent! :D

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