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What do "sonner or later" and "sooner rather than later" mean?

Someone explained as follows:

1."Sooner rather than later" indicates more immediacy to the action

"Sooner or later" seems synonymous with eventually.

2."Sooner or later" implies a certainty (having to)

eg.Sooner or later we will have to pay taxes.
"Sooner rather than later" implies a preference (wanting)

eg.I want to eat at the restaurant sooner rather than later.

What do you all think?
I look forward to your answers!

Thank you very much!
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Jason, welcome to the forums.

"Sooner or later" = eventually

"Sooner rather than later" = soon

It doesn't mean you want it to happen. It just means it will occur close to this point in time and not a long time from now.

I think the layoff will come sooner rather than later. He's very sick; I'm afraid his death will be sooner rather than later.
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It seems to me that you understand both phrases correctly!
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lapfellaIt seems to me that you understand both phrases correctly! Smile" src="" mce_src="/emoticons/emotion-1.gif">


In fact ,I'm not sure that what do those two phrases mean!
 BarbaraPA's reply was promoted to an answer.
Grammar GeekJason, welcome to the forums.

"Sooner or later" = eventually

"Sooner rather than later" = soon

It doesn't mean you want it to happen. It just means it will occur close to this point in time and not a long time from now.

I think the layoff will come sooner rather than later. He's very sick; I'm afraid his death will be sooner rather than later.


Hi Grammar Geek !

As you said ,"sooner rather than later" doesn't imply a preference(wanting)?
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But people are now saying, "Sooner than later," leaving out the "rather." Drives me nuts.