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Rather than reject even the possibility that photographs have something to tell us about the Shoah, Didi-Huberman shows that they can offer other important insights.

Do "Rather than rejecting" and "rather than reject" mean the same? Please explain the sentence structure which seems to me rather unfamiliar.

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As Ringo points out in his comment, this question has been answered over on ELU. I'm just going to copy the top answer below:


Rather than is used both as a conjunction for infinitives and as a preposition.

In this example, rather than is a preposition, with a gerund as its object:

Shoot a single shot rather than taking many random pictures.

Here it's a conjunction linking the infinitives to shoot and to take:

She wanted to shoot a single shot rather than take many random pictures.

You can use rather than as a conjunction anywhere you can use an infinitive, including the bare infinitive of the imperative mood. (The verb following rather than is always a bare infinitive.)

In other contexts, use rather than as a preposition with a gerund. Note that some people object to rather than as a preposition, preferring instead of for the non-infinitive uses.

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The meaning is virtually the same, although the grammatical construction is a little different.

They took a taxi rather than walk a mile in the rain.

Many native speakers would also say the following:

They took a taxi rather than walking a mile in the rain.

The meaning is clear: presented with the choice of walking and getting wet, or taking a taxi and staying dry, they chose a taxi.

In either case, an act (expressed with a tensed verb) is set against a nominal action (expressed with an untensed form of the verb).

We take a taxi rather than walk a mile in the rain.

We take a taxi rather than walking a mile in the rain.

We will take a taxi rather than walk a mile in the rain.

We will take a taxi rather than walking a mile in the rain.

We should have taken a taxi rather than walk a mile in the rain.

We should have taken a taxi rather than walking a mile in the rain.

We took a taxi rather than walk a mile in the rain.

We took a taxi rather than walking a mile in the rain.

The order can be reversed:

Rather than walk a mile in the rain they took a taxi.

Rather than walking a mile in the rain they took a taxi.

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