Comparative Devices – Part 1

There are different ways to express comparison. For this post, we’re going to be looking at the differences between “instead”, “instead of”, and “rather than.” Read the following passage and see if you can identify the difference.

Instead of following the rules, she snuck out after hours for a romantic rendezvous with her beau, Jack. Yet, only he returned. Her cousin, Kikka, did not want to get involved. However, after seeing how heartbroken her relatives were, she decided to undergo an investigation.

Rather than listening to the rumours, she went to speak to the boy who’s recovering in the hospital instead. However, the nurse informed that Jack was refusing visitors due to shock. As Kikka was about to leave, she bumped into Marcus, Jack’s best friend. Marcus truthfully explained that Jack went instead of him.

The above paragraph is only a glimpse of the possible situations you can use the following words and phrases. Let’s take a closer look at each of the following.

A) Instead Of

“Instead of” is used as a preposition and is defined as “in place of” or “as an alternative.” We can use “instead of” in the following situations:

  1. Instead of + Pronoun
    He truthfully explained that Jack went instead of him.
  2. Instead of + Noun
    While not illustrated in the sentence above, the “instead of + pronoun” grammatical structure can be changed to fit this one. “He truthfully explained that Jack went instead of him” to “He truthfully explained that Jack went instead of Marcus.”
  3. Instead of + V-ing
    As I was writing the above passage, I kept wanting to write this grammatical structure. This format is a common comparative sentence starter. Keep in mind that the verb following “instead of” must always be in “–ing” format.
    Instead of following the rules, rumours floated around that she snuck out after hours for a romantic rendezvous with her beau, Jack.

B) Instead

“Instead” is an adverb and also defined as “as an alternative.” While the example above has “instead” at the end of the sentence, it can also be used at the beginning. In speaking, however, it’s commonly used at the end.

Rather than listening to the rumours, she went to speak to the boy who’s recovering in the hospital instead.

C) Rather than

“Rather than” is used to show preference. It’s also generally used in parallel structures such as two nouns, adjectives, adverbs, infinitives, or long forms.

Rather than listening to the rumours, she went to speak to the boy who’s recovering in the hospital instead.

Quiz Time!

Think you’ve nailed the concepts? Try our quiz!

 

 

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