Rather

Word of the Day: RATHER ◆◆◆◆◇

> (ADV) used to mean ‘fairly’ or ‘to some degree’, often when you are expressing slight criticism, disappointment or surprise

The instructions were rather complicated; She fell and hurt her leg rather badly; I didn’t fail the exam; in fact I did rather well!; It was a rather difficult question.

> used with a verb to make a statement sound less strong

I rather suspect we’re making a mistake; We were rather hoping you’d be able to do it by Friday.

> used to correct something you have said, or to give more accurate information

She worked as a secretary, or rather, a personal assistant; In the end he had to walk—or rather run—to the office.

 

Idioms

rather you, him, etc. than me

‘I’m going climbing tomorrow.’ –  ‘Rather you than me!’

rather than (=instead of somebody/something)

I think I’ll have a cold drink rather than coffee; Why didn’t you ask for help, rather than trying to do it on your own?

would rather… (=would prefer to)

She’d rather die than give a speech.

‘Do you want to come with us?’ ‘No, I’d rather not.

‘Would you rather walk or take the bus?

‘Do you mind if I smoke?’ – ‘Well, I’d rather you didn’t.’