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Rather vs. But — What's the Difference?

Rather vs. But — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Rather and But

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Rather

Rather may refer to:
Aug 18, 2021

But

On the contrary
The plan caused not prosperity but ruin.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

More readily; preferably
I'd rather go to the movies.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Contrary to expectation; yet
She organized her work but accomplished very little. He is tired but happy.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

More exactly; more accurately
He's my friend, or rather he was my friend.
Aug 18, 2021
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But

Usage Problem Used to indicate an exception
No one but she saw the prowler.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

To a certain extent; somewhat
It's rather cold out. I was rather hoping you'd call.
Aug 18, 2021

But

With the exception that; except that. Often used with that
Would have joined the band but he couldn't spare the time.
Would have resisted but that they lacked courage.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

On the contrary
This is not a thoughtful criticism. Rather it is an insult.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(Informal) Without the result that
It never rains but it pours.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

(răthûr, rä-) Chiefly British Most certainly. Used as an emphatic affirmative reply.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(Informal) That. Often used after a negative
There is no doubt but right will prevail.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

(obsolete) More quickly.
Aug 18, 2021

But

That ... not. Used after a negative or question
There never is a tax law presented but someone will oppose it.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

; preferably, in preference to. (Now usually followed by than)
I would rather stay in all day than go out with them.
I would like this one rather than the other one.
I would much rather be with you.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(Informal) Than
They had no sooner arrived but they turned around and left.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

(conjunctive) Used to introduce a contradiction; on the contrary.
It wasn't supposed to be popular; rather, it was supposed to get the job done.
She didn't go along, but rather went home instead.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Usage Problem Except.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

(conjunctive) Introducing a qualification or clarification; more precisely. (Now usually preceded by or.)
I didn't want to leave. Or rather I did, just not alone.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Merely; just; only
Hopes that lasted but a moment.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

(degree) Somewhat, fairly.
This melon is rather tasteless, especially compared to the one we had last time.
We had some rather bad news today.
We’ll be seeing rather a lot of you over the next few days.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Used as an intensive
Get out of here but fast!.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

To prefer; to prefer to.
Aug 18, 2021

But

A concern or objection
My offer is final, no ifs, ands, or buts.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

(obsolete) Prior; earlier; former.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Apart from, except (for), excluding.
Everyone but Father left early.
I like everything but that.
Nobody answered the door when I knocked, so I had no choice but to leave.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

An enthusiastic affirmation.
Would you like some? –Rather!
Aug 18, 2021

But

Outside of.
Away but the hoose and tell me whae's there.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

Prior; earlier; former.
Now no man dwelleth at the rather town.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Merely, only, just, no more than
Christmas comes but once a year.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

Earlier; sooner; before.
Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I.
A good mean to come the rather to grace.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Though, however.
I'll have to go home early but.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

More readily or willingly; preferably.
My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life.
Aug 18, 2021

But

, although, nevertheless, on the other hand introducing a clause contrary to prior belief or in contrast with the preceding clause or sentence.
She is very old but still attractive.
You told me I could do that, but she said that I could not.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

On the other hand; to the contrary of what was said or suggested; instead.
Was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
Aug 18, 2021

But

, rather adversative conjunction, introducing a word or clause in contrast or contradiction with the preceding negative clause or sentence}}.
I am not rich but [I am] poor.
Not John but Peter went there.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

Of two alternatives conceived of, this by preference to, or as more likely than, the other; somewhat.
He sought throughout the world, but sought in vain,And nowhere finding, rather feared her slain.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(colloquial) Used at the beginning of a sentence to express opposition to a remark.
But I never said you could do that!
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

More properly; more correctly speaking.
This is an artWhich does mend nature, change it rather, butThe art itself is nature.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Except that (introducing a subordinate clause which qualifies a negative statement); also, with omission of the subject of the subordinate clause, acting as a negative relative, "except one that", "except such that".
I cannot but feel offended.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

In some degree; somewhat; as, the day is rather warm; the house is rather damp.
You are come to me in happy time,The rather for I have some sport in hand.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(colloquial) Used to link an interjection to the following remark as an intensifier.
Wow! But that's amazing!
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

On the contrary;
Rather than disappoint the children, he did two quick tricks before he left
He didn't call; rather (or instead), he wrote her a letter
Used English terms instead of Latin ones
Aug 18, 2021

But

(archaic) Without it also being the case that; unless that (introducing a necessary concomitant).
It never rains but it pours.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

To some (great or small) extent;
It was rather cold
The party was rather nice
The knife is rather dull
I rather regret that I cannot attend
He's rather good at playing the cello
He is kind of shy
Aug 18, 2021

But

(obsolete) Except with; unless with; without.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

More readily or willingly;
Clean it well, preferably with warm water
I'd rather be in Philadelphia
I'd sooner die than give up
Aug 18, 2021

But

(obsolete) Only; solely; merely.
Aug 18, 2021

Rather

To a degree (not used with a negative);
Quite tasty
Quite soon
Quite ill
Quite rich
Aug 18, 2021

But

(obsolete) Until.
Aug 18, 2021

But

That.
Aug 18, 2021

But

An instance or example of using the word "but".
It has to be done – no ifs or buts.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(Scotland) The outer room of a small two-room cottage.
Aug 18, 2021

But

A limit; a boundary.
Aug 18, 2021

But

The end; especially the larger or thicker end, or the blunt, in distinction from the sharp, end; the butt.
Aug 18, 2021

But

(archaic) Use the word "but".
But me no buts.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Except with; unless with; without.
So insolent that he could not go but either spurning equals or trampling on his inferiors.
Touch not the cat but a glove.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Except; besides; save.
Who can it be, ye gods! but perjured Lycon?
Aug 18, 2021

But

Excepting or excluding the fact that; save that; were it not that; unless; - elliptical, for but that.
And but my noble Moor is true of mind . . . it were enough to put him to ill thinking.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Otherwise than that; that not; - commonly, after a negative, with that.
It cannot be but nature hath some director, of infinite power, to guide her in all her ways.
There is no question but the king of Spain will reform most of the abuses.
Aug 18, 2021

But

Only; solely; merely.
Observe but how their own principles combat one another.
If they kill us, we shall but die.
A formidable man but to his friends.
Aug 18, 2021

But

On the contrary; on the other hand; only; yet; still; however; nevertheless; more; further; - as connective of sentences or clauses of a sentence, in a sense more or less exceptive or adversative; as, the House of Representatives passed the bill, but the Senate dissented; our wants are many, but quite of another kind.
Now abideth faith hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom.
But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; . . . the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him.
But this I read, that but if remedyThou her afford, full shortly I her dead shall see.
Aug 18, 2021

But

The outer apartment or kitchen of a two-roomed house; - opposed to ben, the inner room.
Aug 18, 2021

But

A limit; a boundary.
Aug 18, 2021

But

The end; esp. the larger or thicker end, or the blunt, in distinction from the sharp, end. Now disused in this sense, being replaced by butt{2}. See 1st Butt.
Aug 18, 2021

But

And nothing more;
I was merely asking
It is simply a matter of time
Just a scratch
He was only a child
Hopes that last but a moment
Aug 18, 2021

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