Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,333
    #1

    "Rather than" vs "Instead of"

    Hello guys,
    Currently, I'm trying to understand that rule.
    Today I found an interesting article:

    Rather than - shows preference. This expression is generally used in 'parallel' structures. e.g - with two nouns, adjectives, adverbs, infinitives or -ing forms.

    e.g

    1). We ought to invest in machinery rather than buildings.
    2). I prefer starting early rather than leaving things to the last minute.

    When the main clause has a to - infinitive, rather than is usually followed by an infinitive without to or -ing form.

    e.g - I decided to write rather than phone/phoning.

    Instead of - suggests that one person, thing or action replaces another. Instead is not used alone as a preposition; we use the two words instead of.
    Instead of is not usually followed by an infinitive.

    e.g

    1). I'll have tea instead of coffee, please.
    2). I stayed in bed all day instead of going to work.
    3). Amit was invited to the reception, but he was ill, so Akash went instead of him.

    Note - Instead (without of) is an adverb. It begins or ends a clause usually.

    e.g - She didn't go to Greece after all. Instead , she went to America.


    NOTE :
    Usage --- instead of + noun phrase. Instead of is only a preposition and can introduce only a phrase i.e no verb
    Usage --- rather than + verb (or) rather than + noun. Further rather than can act as a preposition and can introduce a prepositional phrase or can act as a conjunction and introduce a clause
    GMAT Grammar: Rather than vs Instead of

    Unfortunately, I can't see a real difference here:
    2). I prefer starting early rather than leaving things to the last minute.
    2). I stayed in bed all day instead of going to work.
    (Does the second sentence need the "instead of" because it's past?)

    To me all these examples are the same; better said: I don't see a real reason why to use "rather than" or "instead of".

    How about these sentences:
    Instead of waiting for some nice weather, you should quickly run to the mall until it's too late.
    I would prefer less money rather than more work.
    Today I'll drive my dad's car instead of my car.
    You can learn more rather than playing all the time.


    Cheers!

  2. VIP Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,360
    #2

    Re: "Rather than" vs "Instead of"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello guys,
    Currently, I'm trying to understand that rule.
    Today I found an interesting article:

    GMAT Grammar: Rather than vs Instead of

    Unfortunately, I can't see a real difference here:
    2). I prefer starting early rather than leaving things to the last minute.
    2). I stayed in bed all day instead of going to work.
    (Does the second sentence need the "instead of" because it's past?)

    To me all these examples are the same; better said: I don't see a real reason why to use "rather than" or "instead of".

    How about these sentences:
    Instead of waiting for some nice weather, you should quickly run to the mall until it's too late.
    I would prefer less money rather than more work.
    Today I'll drive my dad's car instead of my car.
    You can learn more rather than playing all the time.


    Cheers!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Nightmare.

    (1) As I type this, no one else has yet answered. So may I start?

    (2) This "rather than" matter is confusing to ordinary native speakers like me, too.

    (3) If you get a chance, google the article on "rather than" in THE AMERICAN HERITAGE BOOK OF ENGLISH USAGE.

    (a) The article is short.

    (b) The article does a pretty good job of explaining this term.

    (4) But the best thing is what it says in the last paragraph:

    Just as you said, there is often little difference between "rather than" and "instead of."

    So the article suggests that a person just use "instead of" + gerund whenever it is possible. Then one does not have to worry about trying to "balance" both sides of "rather than."

    Have a nice day!

  3. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,037
    #3

    Re: "Rather than" vs "Instead of"

    The key to the GMAT article is the clause '...one person, thing or action replaces another...'; it stands for the other thing. There is a quite archaic word, related - probably (I don't have time right now to look it up) - to 'stand': 'stead' ( some times used now in the phrase 'in its stead' [=instead of it], and visible in composite words like 'homestead' and 'steadfast').

    But as TheParser said, its sometimes hard - if not impossible - to distinguish between the two. In some case it's clear:

    I like ice-cream rather than custard.
    But
    Waiter, I'd like the cheese-cake, but with ice-cream instead of cream - this implies that the menu says 'cheesecake with cream'.

    But often it's not so easy.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. difference between "east of" and "to the east of"
    By chance22 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2010, 10:33
  2. "this kind of", "this type of"
    By fang2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2008, 12:27
  3. "On account of" vs "Because of"
    By wastedid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Aug-2007, 10:47
  4. "rather than" vs "instead of"
    By paula in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Apr-2007, 07:08
  5. The difference between "a lot of" "lots of"
    By emank in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Mar-2006, 12:32

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •