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GMAT语法攻略:instead of 的用法




  instead of 代替/而不是


  Instead of giving him the money,she gave it to me .

  I want to be a tour guide rather than an English teacher.

  I will play basketball instead of swimming.

  Hi Kris,

  Thanks for your message. Long story short: we went a little far on this question, and so we're flagging it for revision so that C is more clearly wrong.

  There IS a crucial difference between "rather than" and "instead of" that you should know. "Rather than" is a conjunction and so can be followed by basically anything, whereas "instead of" is a (complex) preposition -- and a preposition should be followed only by a noun. Now, the noun can be an "-ing" verb, known as a gerund. So, the sentences you quote are not grammatically wrong in this regard. However, the GMAT seems to prefer "rather than" in comparisons of verbs, because the parallelism is clearest:

  (1) "I ski rather than snowboard." -- Correct.

  (2) "I ski instead of snowboarding." -- Correct, but a 'little' less parallel, so (1) is slightly preferable. The GMAT probably won't test this point in isolation, though, so we're going to revise the question.

  You can also use "rather than" to compare phrases or clauses. In that context, "instead of" is absolutely wrong, even though it's heard in spoken English:

  (3) "I went in the cellar rather than in the attic." -- Correct.

  (4) "I went in the cellar instead of in the attic." -- INCORRECT although this 'sounds' normal to me, to be honest! (That's why you have to retrain your ear -- it's not always grammatically right!)

  (5) "I went in the cellar instead of the attic." -- Also correct. No difference in preference between (3) and (5).

  As for the meaning of the two expressions -- to my ear, they have slightly different connotations or nuances ("instead of" sounds more like an actual replacement to me than "rather than," which is somehow softer), but the GMAT doesn't seem to test that connotational difference.

  So -- when in doubt, go with "rather than"!

  Hope this is helpful!


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