In the following two sentences which one is correct regarding the usage of rather

Men are rather impressed by beauty then by character.

Men are impressed rather by beauty then by character.

I think the first one is correct. But in my book second one is correct, I don't understand how?

3 Answers 3


Firstly, it’s “than”, not “then”.

As Kate Bunting mentions, the second example is valid, though rather old-fashioned and formal.

The first sort of sounds like it’s trying to say:

Men are rather impressed by beauty.

“Rather” here just means “very”.

One acceptable and common way to phrase what you're trying to say would be:

Men are impressed by beauty rather than (by) character.

Also note that the second “by”, which I’ve bracketed, is optional.

  • 7
    I would say that rather by beauty than by character is perfectly valid, just rather old-fashioned and formal. Jul 14, 2020 at 13:31
  • @KateBunting That’s true, I’ll update my answer to make that more clear.
    – Chris Mack
    Jul 14, 2020 at 13:34

To add to Chris's answer...

Even better to avoid using 'rather' here. So:

Men are impressed by beauty in a woman, not character


Men are more impressed by a woman's beauty than her character.


Men are rather impressed by beauty than character.

Will rather be the right answer to your question.

Here rather is giving more emphasis on one over the other.

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