Rather is an adverb of degree. Its meaning is similar to fairly and quite.
- She is rather tall.
- The interview was rather tough.
With adjectives and adverbs, rather suggests ‘more than is usual’ ‘more than was expected’ and similar ideas.
- I speak French rather well.
- It is rather warm in here. Let’s open the window.
Rather can modify comparatives and too.
- It is rather later than I thought.
- He talks rather too much.
Rather can modify noun phrases, with or without adjectives. It generally comes before articles, but can also come after a/an if there is an adjective.
- He is rather a fool. (NOT He is a rather fool.)
- It was a rather good idea. (OR It was rather a good idea.)
- She is rather a successful actor. (OR She is a rather successful actor.)
Rather is not normally used before a plural noun with no adjective.
Rather can modify verbs.
- She rather enjoys doing nothing.
- I rather think we are going to lose.