It is said that, as a conjunction, the two constructions on each side of (rather than) must be parallel. So can this phrase join two sentences like this? (I know there are better ways of doing it)

I will tell her rather than she tell me.

  • You're right -- it's not a good example. Your example is non-coordinative in that it has a comparative meaning, "in preference to". The constituents are not syntactically alike, "I will tell her" being finite, "She tell me" non-finite. This being the case, "rather than" is not here a coordinator. Instead, "rather" is an adverb.
    – BillJ
    Mar 14 at 8:27
  • Yes. And here's where the multi-word character of rather than comes in handy; you can split them up and put rather in an adverbial position: I would rather tell her than she tell me. Of course, there are better constructions, like have her tell me, as well. Mar 14 at 15:29


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