Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 6: 2/24


むしろ + (Preferred Choice) Phrase
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使用域 一般
When a speaker is making a determination about something in Japanese, the 副詞(ふくし) (adverb) むしろ is often used to express a more accurate depiction of what has already been said. This is regularly translated as ‘rather’, or ‘instead’.
むしろ will mostly appear at the beginning of new sentences, or the beginning of a second clause within a sentence, before information about (A) will clarified.
  • 何(なん)でそっち怒(おこ)ってる?むしろこっち怒(おこ)りたいよ。
    Why are you mad? I want to be the one that is mad instead. (It would be preferable if I was mad, because you’re the one that is wrong)
  • むしろ、安(やす)い方(ほう)買(か)った方(ほう)がいいとおもう
    Buying a cheaper one would be better instead.
As むしろ seeks to give a more accurate description about something, it will often be paired with grammar patterns such as より, to show where the comparison is being made.
  • 車(くるま)リースするより、むしろ中古(ちゅうこ)車(くるま)買(か)った方(ほう)が安(やす)く済(す)む。
    Instead of leasing a car, it would be cheaper if you bought a used one.
  • 俺(おれ)はMMOよりよりむしろシングルプレイヤーゲームの方(ほう)が好(す)き
    Rather than MMOs, I like single player games more.
Fun Fact
むしろ comes from the kanji 寧(むし)ろ, literally meaning ‘preferable’. This is the same kanji that appears in the word 丁寧(ていねい), meaning ‘polite’ (sometimes also translated as ‘careful’). The grammar structure むしろ itself may even be translated as ‘preferably’, simply expressing that careful consideration has been given to describing something accurately.
  • むしろ、そっち謝(あやま)ってほしいよ。
    Preferably, I want you to apologize. (Rather than me, it would be better if you apologized)
  • むしろ、先生(せんせい)聞(き)いてみた方(ほう)がいいんじゃない
    Preferably, wouldn't it be better to ask the teacher? (The teacher will give a much more preferable answer than me)
Slow Male
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I prefer the countryside over the city.
Rather than a lively person as a friend, a silent person is better.
Instead of bad-mouthing together, you both should be the ones getting insulted.
A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns
Page 609
A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar
Page 295
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 116
Quartet II
Page 12