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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 55
    #1

    Rather than

    Hello everyone,

    I'm having a bit of trouble using different 'rather than' structures.
    Can anyone verify whether the examples below are correct?

    "She'd rather move out than pay the rent"
    "I prefer taking action rather than doing nothing"
    "Rather than giving up his freedom he would flee from his country"

    (It is mainly the last senctence that seems a bit dubious to me)

    Also, I wondered whether it is possible to have a to-infinitive in a
    'rather than' structure (and if so, could you give me an example of that), or that only bare infinitives and ing-forms are acceptable in such structures. What are the rules on this?

    Thanks in advance

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Rather than

    They're okay, but we would indeed prefer a verb in the second clause of the last sentence: "....he would prefer to flee from his country."

    I can't think of any examples of to-infinitives in such uses that seem natural in today's English.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 55
    #3

    Re: Rather than

    Thanks, konungursvia.
    Could you maybe give me another example so as to clarify what you mean by:

    we would indeed prefer a verb in the second clause of the last sentence: "....he would prefer to flee from his country."

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Canada
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #4

    Re: Rather than

    Well your third sentence, with "would flee" sounds like a regular occurrence in the past, rather than a present preference.

    Rather than eat strawberries I would prefer to drink orange juice. (my current preference)
    Rather than eat strawberries he would drink orange juice. (a habitual past action)


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 55
    #5

    Re: Rather than

    I see what you mean now, thanks.

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