What is the difference between following sentences:

This is venerable rather magnificent institution.


This is venerable and rather magnificent institution.

Also, can I use rather in this way: "this is auspicious rather felicitous occasion".

  • 1
    Three suggestions: (1) In these sentences, include "and" before "rather". (2) All three sentences should have an indefinite article after "is". (3) Reconsider whether you really want to say or write these sentences; they sound to me like what one hears in speeches by politicians who must give a speech but have nothing to say. Mar 3 '18 at 2:40
  • 2
    None of your three sentences is good English.
    – Xanne
    Mar 3 '18 at 3:35
  • @AndreasBlass Can't I use it as beginning of my speech. I was thinking to start my speech with admiration of an institution or an occasion.
    – mayankmax80
    Mar 3 '18 at 8:17
  • If, after considering my comment, you still want to use one of these sentences, then you certainly can; no one will stop you. Mar 3 '18 at 13:04

This is venerable rather magnificent institution

is wrong for grammatical reasons. It is also ambiguous even if we fix the errors in grammar because it could be made grammatical in two completely different ways. For example,

This institution is venerable rather than magnificent

is grammatical and equates to

This institution is venerable but not magnificent

But the following revision is also grammatical

This institution is venerable and rather magnificent

which equates to

This institution is venerable and somewhat magnificent.

Somewhat and not are quite different meanings.

The problem is that rather than is a conjunction that means but not.

But rather used as an adjective means to a partial degree.

  1. The institution is a rather magnificent and venerable institution. "to a certain or significant extent of the "
  2. The institution is a magnificent institution rather than a venerable institution. "indicates your preference of adjective " Careful of the use of "This" as a pronoun. Separating it too far from the noun it replaces (the antecedent) can make it ambiguous. https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/proref.htm

  3. This is auspicious rather felicitous occasion. (This the pronoun has no antecedent so how do we know if this means occasion?) This occasion is a rather auspicious and felicitous one. ("One" is the indefinite pronoun and "this occasion" is the antecedent) This occasion is an auspicious occasion rather than a felicitous occasion. Not sure if that is what you meant in the sentences their meaning was not clear but maybe that will help.


What the two sentences have in common is that neither is correct usage. In both cases, a definite article is needed after the verb.

Accounting for this, the first sentence needs a comma after "venerable", which will effectively behave as an "and".

This is a venerable, rather magnificent institution.

This is a venerable and rather magnificent institution.

As for the difference in usage, there is little difference. I would expect the first to be spoken in a more personal, affectionate tone of voice than the second.

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