Learn English  

Blue Level


Red Level


Yellow Level


Green Level


Purple Level


Orange Level


Violet Level


Video Lessons




American Speech




How to Learn




U.S. Citizenship




Protected by Copyscape 






The word "rather" is an adverb used when choosing one thing over another. This is a good way to ask about a person's preference. In this case, "rather" is often used with the word "would."

  • What would you rather do, go to the park or go to the beach?
  • I'd rather have a salad for dinner tonight instead of a hamburger. (I'd rather = I would rather)
  • Sarah would rather own a small car that saves gas over a large car.
  • Instead of living in the city, Jerome would rather live in the country.
  • I'd rather be fishing. (rather be + a gerund / a noun / adjective)
  • I"d rather be playing golf.
  • I'd rather be at home right now.
  • I'd rather be rich than poor.

riding a motorcycleHe'd rather ride his motorcycle than drive his car.

It's common to put "rather than" at the beginning of a sentence:

  • Rather than complain about how bad this is, why don't you do something to fix it?
  • Rather than do what everyone else is doing, why don't you do something different?
  • Rather than going out tonight, they're going to stay at home.

You can also use "rather" as a substitute for the adverb "very." This is more popular in British English, but it's also heard in American English:

  • She looks rather pleased with herself.
  • This situation is rather difficult.
  • That was a rather exciting experience.
  • I found that book to be rather boring.

Click here for more vocabulary.


March 17, 2019









© 2010, 2019 Learn American English Online. All rights reserved.