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I was watching a series “The Affair”, where a character said this, “You wanted to die rather than face yourself”.

This dialogue is making me question if what’s the difference between these three:

A. You wanted to die rather than face yourself.

B. You wanted to die rather than facing yourself.

C. You wanted to die rather than to face yourself.

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  • I would say, A is the concise form of C and all three mean the same. The B might put more emphasis on the process though. But to me, all three essentially mean the same thing.
    – Cardinal
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 6:21
  • Native US speaker and the first one sounds correct and the other two sound awkward, but I’m not sure if they are technically correct or not.
    – Emily
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 15:51
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    Please refrain from engaging in arguments with other people. If you find the answers unsatisfactory, please try and clarify your question. You can also comment under answers politely, and request clarification and further explanation from answerers. Bickering will likely result in suspensions.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 20:26
  • Ok, I will keep in mind. Commented May 23, 2020 at 20:31

2 Answers 2

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As a native UK English speaker, I would say A seemed the most natural. The other two sound a bit "foreign" to me, but I can't really explain why and I'm too busy to start analysing it.

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  • The difference is that the first one (A) is correct and the other two are not.
    – acme_54
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 16:36
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//A. You wanted to die rather than face yourself.

B. You wanted to die rather than facing yourself.

C. You wanted to die rather than to face yourself.//

When we use 'rather than' both the verbs should be similar. It should be like rather die than face; or rather dying than facing.

It shouldn't be that rather is followed by 'die' and than is followed by 'facing', instead of 'face'. Hence, the first examples is correct.

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