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I was writing a paragraph where I had to include two questions. They are (not exactly):

Will you reject the offer? Or would you rather embrace it knowing it is to your advantage?

It is for sure "would" in the second question, but since I have stated the first question with "will", I thought it would be more grammatical for both questions to be in the same tense, so it would be either "would" or "will".

However, the first question doesn't sound very properly with "would", and I think the reason is that it has some determination in it, and because it refers to a doing that may be taken in the near future.

I have searched for a question with "will + rather", but it seems that they can't be combined together; why?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, would rather is used to indicate one's preference in a particular matter.

And rather means to a certain or significant extent or degree.

  • Which doesn't indicate a low possibility as to attach it with "would".
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It needs to be would you for the sense of it, though will isn't incorrect.

"Will you reject the offer?" implies there's an offer, already made or coming soon, and you will have to answer.

Consider

  • "Will you reject the offer? Or will you accept it?" I have no idea which you will do
  • "Will you reject the offer? Or will you accept it? Or would you prefer to sleep on it and give them an answer in the morning?" Instead of certainty of rejecting the offer, the certainty of accepting it, there is some uncertain additional option which you might prefer.

Your case:

Because the opposite of "reject" is "accept", to "embrace" it is a kind of uncertain possibility, hence it sounds better with the uncertainty of "would". Other possibilities would be "or would you like to negotiate some changes first."

Note also that "rather" is slippery and can carry the sense of "prefer" or "very" (mainly UK), and sometimes just "instead". "I'd rather have cake" = "I would prefer to have cake", "I rather like cake" = "I very much like cake", "Do this rather than that" = "Do this instead of that". In your examples it's faintly ambiguous between "instead" and "prefer".

  • Will you reject the offer? Or will you rather accept it knowing it is to your advantage? makes a simple choice between the two. ("rather" = "instead")
  • Will you reject the offer? Or would you rather embrace it knowing it is to your advantage? makes the embracing sound uncertain, speculative. ("rather" = "prefer to")

If we're suggesting it's a good idea, we might say

  • Will you reject the offer? Wouldn't you rather embrace it knowing it is to your advantage? makes the suggestion that you would prefer the embracing. "Wouldn't you rather" is definitely "Wouldn't you prefer to".
  • I have never thought I would get an answer for this, let alone an amazing, excellent, precise, and very clear answer. Thanks a million! About the meaning I have wanted to convey by using "rather" is "instead", so I should probably go with "Or will you rather..." However, your explanantion seems valid for many, if not all, the cases of (will/would + rather). Again, thank you so much! – Tasneem ZH Apr 24 at 19:10
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    You can certainly write "Or will you instead embrace it ...". Glad to have helped. Peace and love. – jonathanjo Apr 24 at 19:19

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