For example, would the following sentence with either ‘rather’ or ‘instead’ included in the middle (or, for that matter, with ‘instead’ alone at the end) be redundant. If a redundancy, would it rise (sink?) to the unacceptable variety?:

"You would ask him about the economy, whereas/although/while I would (rather/instead) ask him about the war."

Also, would it make any difference (re redundancy) if the main and subordinate clauses were reversed and the contrasting adverb was in the main clause instead of the subordinate one? "Although/while you would ask him about the economy, I would (rather/instead) ask him about the war."


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    All of them (and others, too -- instead is more likely at the end of a clause, for instance) are fine. There is no rule in English that says you can't be redundant. Redundancy is built into every language, and English is no excuse. You may have noticed that people don't always learn things immediately when you tell them, so you might hafta repeat yourself. Redundancy is a design feature of language, not a bug to be eliminated from every sentence. Redundancy is good. – John Lawler Oct 17 '14 at 17:12

"You would ask about the economy, I about the war" is a construct I have used and understood. It is not redundant -- until the listener says, "What?" The redundancy prevents the question.

"Rather" and "instead" ARE redundant and I have likewise had some of my obsessive-compulsive children tell me so. But all of it is a matter of personal choice -- which is why there are no references giving a standard answer.

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