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I learned from grammar books that rather than can be used both as a conjunction and as a preposition. So can live replace living in the following sentence (A) like (B)? I think it can according to the grammar rule, but I'm not quite sure.

(A) Rather than living in a typical modern apartment, they can have a living space that looks like a home from the 1970s or 80s.

or

(B) Rather than live in a typical modern apartment, they can have a living space that looks like a home from the 1970s or 80s.

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  • Both sound fine to me, I actually like B more because it gets rid of the repetition of "living"
    – katatahito
    Jun 25, 2019 at 6:01
  • "Rather than" is never a preposition. It's either a case of "rather" being an adverb and "than" a preposition functioning as head of a comparative complement or, as in your examples, it's a compound coordinator with the comparative meaning 'in preference to', I'd say that (A) and (B) are equally fine
    – BillJ
    Jun 25, 2019 at 10:12
  • I personally prefer (this is stylistic and open to personal opinion) something different from either: Rather than live in a typical modern apartment, they can live in a space that looks like a home from the 1970s or 80s. I don't like mixing live with living because it breaks the parallelism of the sentence, and I prefer the active live to the more passive living. Jun 25, 2019 at 15:33
  • Parallelism is only an issue in coordination. The OP's examples are not coordinations but comparative constructions
    – BillJ
    Jun 25, 2019 at 15:53

1 Answer 1

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If you used sentence A then I would probably assume that they are currently living in a typical modern apartment. I would be less likely to assume that if you used sentence B.

I have no idea if what I am saying is technically correct according to any rules of English. I offer my advice purely as a native speaker of British English. I have no formal qualifications in English and in fact don't even understand some of the words used in your question, so don't rely on what I say!

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