Q&ACan anyone explain the phrase "rather than" a bit?
Ryan Asked 3 years

I wrote an incorrect sentence: If creation is our destination, technology can merely shorten the time of getting there rather than replace people to do it. I know it should be “replacing”. But I found a sample sentence in dictionary:rook had resigned his post rather than be party to such treachery. So I am confused. What should follow the phrase? none? the doing form? or depend on the situation?

2 Answers
iamuwajimaya Staff answered 3 years

Actually, ‘replace people’ is right. ‘Rather than’ is often followed by a simple verb, though it doesn’t have to be. So, what’s the problem? Actually, ‘to do it’ is the problem. ‘To do it’ is about creation, but it’s too far and a bit unclear. We could rewrite it like this: ‘If creation is our ultimate goal, technology can merely shorten the time rather than replace those doing the work.’
So, how about ‘rather than’?
It could be followed by a simple verb or a gerund. Nouns can also follow after ‘rather than’.
When it comes to staying healthy, I’d rather focus on diet than pay for it down the road in hospital. 
Phones should be charged with solar power rather than needing to be plugged in. 
They should be charged by the sun rather than wall sockets.
Rather than live alone, I’ve decided to buy a turtle.
I’d rather eat a spider than eat a sea cucumber.

Shelley answered 3 years

When you use “rather than”, usually there are two things you are comparing. No matter you say “A rather than B” or “rather A than B”, it means you like A more than B. Or you prefer A to B.

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