作此意解的rather常和would / had连用,构成固定短语。would / had rather...than译为宁愿......而不愿 ,应该特别注意此短语的否定构成及其后接的动词形式。如:
I would rather not tell you the secret right now. 我现在不愿把那个秘密告诉你。
He would rather have the small one than the large one. 他宁愿要一个小的,而不要大的。
I’d rather take the slowest train than go there by air. 我宁愿坐最慢的火车,也不乘飞机去那里。
would / had rather 后接从句时,从句中的谓语动词用虚拟语气。如:
I would / had rather you posted the letter right away, 我倒希望你把这封信立即发出。
I would / had rather that she had stayed at home. 她那时要是留在家里就好了。
The building is like a palace, or rather a temple. 这幢建筑物像一座宫殿,或者更确切地说像一座寺庙。
He worked till late last night, or rather, early in the morning. 他一直工作到深夜,或者更确切地说,到今天凌晨。
You’ve done rather well.你做得相当好。
The way he is living is rather strange to me. 他的生活方式我觉得很怪。
rather, fairly, quite, pretty的区别:
1. 从程度上说, fairly是最轻的一个;quite比fairly 语气稍强;rather 在程度上比quite更重一些;pretty 和rather 差不多,但大多数情况下用于非正式文体。如:
They were getting along fairly well with each other. 他们相处还不错。
Twenty-five is pretty old to take up ballet dancing.二十五岁才学跳芭蕾,年纪就太大了。
He was quite polite, but he wasn’t ready to help me. 他相当有礼貌,但他并不愿意帮助我。
There’s something rather strange about the way he talks to you. 他跟你说话的样子真有点怪。
2. rather 和quite可放在不定冠词前,也可放在不定冠词之后,还可以和动词连用,而fairly 和pretty没有这些用法。如:
That is quite / rather a surprising result. =That is a quite / rather surprising result. 那是一个相当惊人的结果。
I rather / quite like to go for a walk after supper. 我颇喜欢在晚饭后出去散步。
This computer is rather more expensive than that one.这部电脑比那部昂贵一些。
This book is rather too difficult for the beginners.这部书对初学者来说太难了。
rather的用法：rather than 的用法
rather 不仅是一个表示程度的副词,还能用来表示选择,意为而非;(与其......)倒不如。rather than 经常用在平行结构里,即连接两个对等成分。
I’d prefer to go in August rather than July. 我愿八月去,不愿七月去。
I decided to write rather than telephone. 我决定写信而不打电话。
I’d call her hair chestnut rather than brown. 我宁愿说她的头发是栗色,而不是棕色。
We ought to invest in new machines rather than buildings. 我们应该在新的机器上而不是在房屋上投资。
Rather than get money in such a dishonest way, he would beg in the streets. 他宁愿在街上乞讨,也不愿以这种不正当的手段挣钱。
I always prefer starting early, rather than leaving everything to the last minute. 我总是愿意早开始而不愿意把所有事情都留到最后。
1. would rather 宁可，宁愿
(1) would rather后接动词原形;表否定时，后接not +动词原形：
I'll never be dependent on anyone again. I would rather starve (than be dependent on anyone else).
John really dislikes dancing. He would rather not go dancing with his wife.
(2) would rather接that从句，从句用虚拟语气，即用一般过去时表示现在或将来的动作或状态，用过去完成时表示过去的动作或状态。如:
I'd rather (that) you set out to do the task now.
I'd rather you picked her up at the airport tomorrow morning.
I'd rather you had not told her the news that day.
(3) 变体形式：would rather do ... than do ... 宁可……也不……
I would rather die than surrender to the enemy.
2. rather than
This pair of shoes is comfortable rather than pretty.
John is a doctor rather than a teacher.
(2) 接名词或代词，可表示“而不是”的意思，相当于短语instead of或in place of：
I, rather than he, should be responsible for this failure.
Rather than allow the vegetables to go bad, he sold them at half price.
3. or rather 表示“更确切地说”，起进一步解释说明的作用：
She worked as a secretary, or rather, a personal assistant.
4. not ... but rather ... 表示“不是……，相反(而是)……”
Their problem is not a lack of funding, but rather a lack of planning.
5. rather than 与prefer 连用
(1) prefer to do ... rather than do ... 表示“宁愿做……而不愿做……”：
They prefer to repeat their former experiences rather than take new risks.
(2) prefer+名词... rather than +名词，替代prefer ... to的用法，如:
I should prefer wine rather than beer.
rather作为独立的副词使用，可表示“相当”的意思。其同义词有：pretty, quite, fairly。它们表示“相当”的程度从强到弱依次为：rather, pretty, quite, fairly
This initially rather dull hobby had led him into fresh fields of enjoyment.
The summer in Beijing is rather hot.
(The speaker dislikes it.)
The summer in Beijing is fairly dry.
(The speaker likes it.)
3. 与pretty, quite等的用法区别
修饰单数可数名词时，fairly和pretty只能放在冠词之后，而quite 和rather 可前可后。
It is quite a good film.
=It is a quite good film.
It is rather a good film.
=It is a rather good film.
It is a fairly good film.
It is a pretty good film.