Rather | English Usage

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.

With nouns

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.

With verbs

Rather can modify verbs.

  • She rather enjoys doing nothing.
  • rather think we are going to lose.


Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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