Did rather vs Would rather

Did you rather go to a different restaurant??

=> Does “did rather” exist? and how is it used?
please give me some examples

Many thanks

Hi Nessie

You must be thinking of ‘would rather’:
“Would you rather go to a different restaurant?”

‘Would rather’ is used to talk about a preference.
Look at the 'd rather part here:
bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learn … v107.shtml

I did rather fancy a beer, but I resisted.

Hi Molly,

Nice point.


If somewhat posh. :wink:


Raaaather, don’t you know.


Hi, Amy

What Molly wrote isn’t quite correct, right? It must read “I would rather fancy a beer”, musn’t it?

Hi LS,

If I could answer this for you. As you know, ‘rather’ indicates preference/inclination to do something. In a sentence beginning: ‘I would rather/I’d rather’, you are indicating what you would like to do if you had the opportunity as in: I would rather go out into the fresh air rather than sit here bashing away at a keyboard. If later after that time someone had asked the question: Would you rather have gone out into fresh air than have sat bashing away at a keyboard? You could answer: I did rather - suggesting that 'going out was the preference at that time. That’s a bit convoluted but I hope the point is made!


Not in the past.

This is also possible:

“He did rather embarrass us somewhat.”

“She did rather acquire a reputation for speaking first and thinking later, didn’t he?”

Hi Alex
Alan chose to imperiously answer the question you asked me, but his example illustrated why I responded to Nessie as I did quite nicely. :wink:

As you can see, Alan used “would you rather” in his question and saved the “I did rather” part for the response.

Y: Why in the world did he say that?
X: He did rather put his foot in it, didn’t he? :lol:

[size=100]The word ‘rather’ in the mini-conversation above does not indicate any kind of preference whatsoever. This is basically the way Molly used ‘rather’ when she wrote ‘I did rather fancy a drink’. Any sense of preference in Molly’s sentence comes from the meaning of the word ‘fancy’ itself. The word ‘did’ can be used emphatically, or it can be used to create a sort of polite tentativeness. The word ‘rather’ can be used to modify the degree of the verb.[/size] :wink:

I’d say “did rather”, in that use, is a modal expression. It’s a unit. Or maybe not. It’s also of the type “I was hoping you could help me” (indirect/present time use/tentative or, sometimes, obligating).


Yet sometimes, it isn’t only the auxiliary “do” which is used emphatically, but “rather” also.

That use is often more forceful than “I do resent it when…”., IMO.

Here’s memorable one.

We also have.

Which sounds less forceful?

I am rather angry with you.
I am angry with you?

According to Alan’s explaination, “did rather” seems to be used only in response, isn’t it?
But you all give many examples in which the phrase is used not in response. Sorry, hic, may be I’m so dumb, but could you please clarify it?
Many thanks

P.S: I can’t understand what Molly meant when she said “I did rather fancy a beer, but I resisted”, and I also don’t understand why Alan said “nice point” => (+_+)

Is it okay to say:
“Sorry about the video recording quality, we rather danced.”
meaning while someone was recording a video he was also dancing, that’s why the quality is low.

Thanks in advance!

Here are some examples of various versions of Molly’s sentence. None of them are questions. The word “rather” modifies the degree of the verb and the word “do” (“did”) is used emphatically.

Simple present tense:

==>“I fancy a beer.” = “I want a beer.

==>“I rather fancy a beer.” = The word “rather” does not indicate preference. Instead it modifies the degree of the verb “fancy”.

==>“I do rather fancy a beer.” = The word “do” is used emphatically.

Simple past tense:

==>“I fancied a beer.” = “I wanted a beer.

==>“I rather fancied a beer.” = The word “rather” modifies the degree of the verb “fancy”. The sentence refers to the past.

==>“I did rather fancy a beer.” = The word “did” is used emphatically, and because “did” is used, the verb “fancy” is in the past form. The word “rather” is used to modify the degree of the verb.