I have trouble with some of English phrases, such as other than and rather. I am not sure about the meaning of them. There are two sentences which include these phrases:

1- anything ending in a filename other than ‘index.html’
2- I would rather not say.

Does the other than in first sentence means except and rather in second sentence means prefer?

  • "I'd rather not." is a polite refusal. "I'd rather not have kedgeree again (for the third time this week)." "I'd rather not clean the drains, if you don't mind."
    – Hugh
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:27
  • You are right with "except" and "prefer".
    – rogermue
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


You're right.

There are many definitions of rather.

  • used to indicate one's preference in a particular matter.

    "I'd rather not say"(I'd prefer not to say)

  • to a certain or significant extent or degree.

    "she's been behaving rather strangely"

  • used to suggest that the opposite of a previous statement is the case; on the contrary.

    "There is no shortage of basic skills in the workplace. Rather, the problem is poor management"

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

Other than [something] means everthing excluding [something]/except [something].

Anything ending in a filename other than ‘index.html’==> all the files excluding the one with the extension ‘index.html’.

  • I see. Are these phrases formal and can use them in an article or they have formal substitute?
    – lonesome
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:29
  • It depends on the usage. 'Rather not', as Hugh mentioned, can be used as a polite refusal. 'Other than' has better substitutes like 'except', 'apart from'(the best option according to me) and 'excluding'. In articles(that are not related to the writer), it is better to maintain an impersonal tone. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:38
  • what do you mean by not related to the writer?
    – lonesome
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:57

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