General Question

Mimishu1995's avatar

"Rather" vs "would rather"?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (18127points) October 6th, 2014

Just a little question about English usage. When do we use “I rather…” and when do we use “I would rather…”?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You would not say “I rather…” without an understood (silent) verb.

Rather is an adverb; adverbs and adjectives, being modifiers, need something to modify They don’t do well all on their own.

dappled_leaves's avatar

“I rather” is always incorrect. It’s not even a common mistake, and might indicate a non-English speaker.

Instead, say “I would rather” or contract it to “I’d rather”.

But also, be aware that rather can occur by itself when there is no subject, with the same meaning as “instead” or “conversely”. Example:

Instead, you should go to the farm

is equivalent to

Rather, you should go to the farm

This does not have the same meaning as “I’d rather you went to the farm”. I is not the subject of rather in the example above. The sentence indicates that, in a general sense, you should go to the farm.

gailcalled's avatar

“Rather” as an adverb:

1.rather good.

2. rather thought you would regret it.

3.The contrary is rather to be supposed.

4.to die rather than yield.

5.He is a painter or, rather, a watercolorist.

6.It’s not generosity, rather self-interest.

7. Tutoring is provided by older students rather than teachers.
Rather than complain, you should try to make changes.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Thanks everyone. I have learned a couple of things from you.

morphail's avatar

You might also see “had rather”

CWOTUS's avatar

I rather doubt what you say, @dappled_leaves, about that formation being “always incorrect”. It’s not.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@CWOTUS Rather, old chap! You’re quite right, as @gailcalled also pointed out above.

However, I would add that this is a rather antiquated way of speaking or writing. If you’re using it, I’d rather you sported a monocle and an ascot, and waved a pipe for emphasis.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“I’d” rather.

Adagio's avatar

Informally, the word “rather ” can also be used as an exclamation e.g.
“Let’s have scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea.”
“Rather!”

Used like this it always makes me think of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five.

Strauss's avatar

Then there’s always ” ‘druther”...

gailcalled's avatar

@Adagio”; Commonly used by the Brits and their allies. Rarely in US English.

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