Do I have something wrong with these?

・The conflict was rather brutal.

・She was rather miserable in her last years.

I think these usages of rather are little odd. Because this kind of adjectives include the meaning of extreme themselves.
1 2
kook jI think these usages of rather are little odd.
Maybe 'a little', but if they were said in conversation, they would likely be passed over in silence. No one would stop to think that they sounded odd.

CJ
Hi,

Do I have something wrong with these?

・The conflict was rather brutal.

・She was rather miserable in her last years.

I think these usages of rather are little odd. Because this kind of adjectives include the meaning of extreme itself.

Your sentences are fine. 'Rather' is often used in this way. Depending on the context, it can add a casual tone, or add an element of under-statement.

Clive
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
My opinion is that you're more right than wrong, Kook J.

To me, "rather" seems stilted and some may even say pompous.

When you think about it, because the conflct was brutal (savagely violent), what purpose is served by saying that it was, to a certain or significant extent or degree (rather) brutal? It's seems contradictory.

Same goes for the second sentence.

But, this is just my opinion.

John
JohnParisTo me, "rather" seems stilted and some may even say pompous.
When you think about it, because the conflct was brutal (savagely violent), what purpose is served by saying that it was, to a certain or significant extent or degree (rather) brutal? It's seems contradictory.
John
Precisely. That's what I thought.

Thank you three of you.
Hi John,

Do you thinkit would be too much of a generalization to say that most Americans don't favour understatement, which is one common function of 'rather'.

Clive
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Yes, that's too much of a generalization. I can certainly imagine an American wryly pairing "rather" with an extreme adjective like "brutal" or "miserable." However, I think younger Americans would be more likely to use "kind of."
Hi Clive,

I doubt most Americans even know what understatement (or the art of its use) means.

John
JohnParisI doubt most Americans even know what understatement (or the art of its use) means.
And that's an understatement.

CJ
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more