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When to use “Rather” at the beginning of a sentence?

In writing, “Rather” is used as a prepositional phrase, which means that it can either precede an object or a verb. “Rather than” is a common way to begin a sentence. But have you ever wonder, if you can just start a sentence with “Rather”? In that case, you can use “than,” “so,” or even “instead of,” but never a conjunction.

This coordinating conjunction brings two clauses together. “Rather than” can contrast the previous sentence with the following one, or it can introduce two clauses at once. Its use is extremely versatile. Here are some examples of sentence constructions where “Rather than” makes sense. Read on to learn more about this versatile conjunction and its different uses.

Can You Start a Sentence with “Rather”?

can you start a sentence with rather

Generally speaking, people use “Rather than” at the beginning of a sentence, but this isn’t strictly necessary. It’s perfectly acceptable English and fairly common in formal writing. Here are some examples of how to use “rather” in a sentence.

Rather, he’d done the decent thing and spared her further heartache.


Rather to live free to make your own choices than to die in chains.

We can begin a sentence with “Rather” by adding a comma after it, as done in example one.  This is especially suitable when you are drawing a contrast between the two parts of the sentence. It’s fine to use it in a casual sentence if you’re following a train of thought.

If you don’t want to use “Rather” at the beginning of a sentence, you can substitute “furthermore” or another alternative. However, be careful not to use this verb at the beginning of a sentence as it might affect the meaning of the sentence.

The conjunctions are also used in sentences to connect independent phrases or sentences. As you write, you’ll use them interchangeably – the less formal version is used to join independent sentences – while the more formal form is better suited to professional writing. Using them as transitions can make your writing more grammatically correct. If you use them properly, they can help you write a more powerful and compelling copy!

Although “Rather” is not used in the beginning of a sentence, it’s a useful word to use to connect incomplete sentences. The use of “Rather” at the opening of a sentence might be tricky, but it does not make your sentence less formal. In fact, it may be more effective to use “Rather” at the beginning of a sentence rather than a period. So, if you’re confused as to which one to use, consult your grammar teacher.

Start a Sentence with “Rather” and a Comma

start a sentence with rather and a comma

There are two ways to start a sentence: in conjunction or prepositional form. When you use “Rather” at the beginning of a sentence, you should not add a comma. When you use “Rather than” instead, you are starting a sentence that contrasts two clauses. You can also use “Rather” to introduce two clauses at once.

First, a comma should be used after “Rather”. The comma is necessary because “Rather” acts as a conjunctive adverb, suggesting the opposite idea from the sentence before it. For example, you would put “Rather” after the adjective “hungry,” implying that the girl would rather eat an ice cream than a salad.

Besides helping you create stand-alone sentences, “Rather” is also a useful tool for coordinating the explanation of a subject in a sentence. When used to begin contrasting or comparative clauses, “Rather” serves as a coordinating conjunction, bringing the independent clause and dependent clause together. A comma, as the name suggests, follows a preposition.

Another way to start a sentence with “Rather” is to use a comma after it. Doing so helps to coordinate the use of contrasting verbs.

Katherin’s puppy hated going for walks on rainy days. Rather, it preferred a long walk when it was sunny outside.

When used correctly, a question is a good place for a comma. In contrast to a noun phrase, a question is often a good place to put a comma. You may also add a prepositional phrase if you have an argument to make. Just make sure you use it sparingly. Here’s a typical example.

Unless, you have someone you’d rather take?

“Rather” is often used as a degree adverb. It can be used in conjunction with other words, such as “would” or “than,” and pairs with a comma to emphasize the degree of something. It can also be used to indicate an exclamation. Using “rather” can make it easier to read a sentence in English.

He was rather taller than his father.

If you have to write a long article, using a comma between the last words in a paragraph is a good way to make the reader think of a specific thing instead of the subject of the article. In general, a better way to start a sentence is to make sure the reader can draw a positive conclusion on the subject. It is best to use a comma between two adjectives if you want to emphasize contrast or make a distinction between a subject and a verb.

He decided that he would rather wash himself with water in the barn.

Start a Sentence With “Rather Than”

How to start a sentence with “Rather than”?

“Rather than” helps glue together contrasting subordinate clauses, since the words suggest that something is being done instead of something else. It is also used in conjunction with comparative and contrasting verbs. Here are some examples of sentences that start with “Rather than.”

Rather than using canned vegetables, she picked fresh ones from the garden.

Before beginning a sentence, think of the central theme of the entire paragraph. What is its most important point? Who is the main subject of the paragraph? What is the action or emotion that will be conveyed by the sentence? Then, brainstorm the rest of the sentence. Make sure it makes sense as a whole. If you need to use a transition, think about the transitions that follow this part of the speech.

Rather than waiting for the next bus, I prefer to walk back home.

It is a good idea to use the word “Rather” before an object. When you use the word “Rather than,” you are setting the tone for the remainder of the sentence. By learning how to use this word, you can improve the structure and flow of your writing. Remember that varying your sentence openers will help to prevent your writing from sounding monotonous. Additionally, it will make your text more readable and pleasing to the reader.

Use ‘Rather Than’ in a Sentence

When to use “Rather than” in a sentence?

The word rather implies a preference or substitution. “Rather than” is used with the base forms of verbs. In a sentence with two independent clauses, it should be followed by ‘and’ or ‘than’. When used in conjunction with another verb, it can change the meaning of the sentence. It can also change the tone of the sentence.

‘Rather than’ is a very useful coordinating conjunction in English sentences. It serves as a linking element between independent and dependent clauses and acts as an adjective. Similarly, you can also use “Rather than” in conjunction with a prepositional phrase to start a sentence. In this way, the verb can contrast a previous sentence. Or, you can use “Rather than” to introduce two clauses at the same time. In addition, the word “Rather than” may be used as contrasting conjunction to the word “than.”

Rather than driving, he rode his bike to work.

And when used in the middle of the sentence:

Can we meet on Wednesday rather than Thursday for the corporate dinner?

Final Thoughts

Using “Rather” and “Rather than” at the beginning of a sentence is not very common, but not incorrect either. When a sentence has parallel elements in it, “Rather” can be used to grammatically balance compound sentences and those with subordinate clauses. Similarly, you can use “Rather” and “Rather than” to start a sentence when you are comparing two different clauses.

There is more to a compelling piece of writing than knowing how to use “Rather”. If your employees lack the experience or knowledge to develop quality content that engages the readers and drives website traffic, the solution is to hire a professional content writer.

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