むしろ (mushiro) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Rather Than

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'むしろ (mushiro) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Rather Than'

Anna Baffa Volpe

4 min reading time

むしろ (mushiro) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Rather Than

The adverb むしろ (mushiro) means rather, instead, if anything, over.

It is used when comparing two things and expressing a preference for one of them.

I prefer A over B.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of むしろ, how it is formed and when むしろ is used through real example sentences.

How and when むしろ is used

むしろ is translated in various ways: rather, rather than, instead, and even more than.


My sister is rather reliable.


In fact, he is rather a competitor.

むしろ is used when a comparison is made between two things, two situations and one is valued more than the other.


I would rather stay at home than go out.

Let's explain むしろ through a Japanese sentence:


Compare the two and choose this over that.

How むしろ is formed

むしろ is an adverb and has its own transcription in kanji: (むし)ろ.

It is preceded by a sentence representing the first option that we discard and is followed by the second one that we choose or we prefer, we value.

Phrase A+むしろ+Phrase B


I like the cover version of this song more than the original version.

よりむしろ preferring A over B

むしろ is commonly used preceded by the particle より or よりも that introduces the first element of comparison.



I prefer udon over ramen.

派 indicates the group, the faction, the wing or the party

It is interesting the usage of this kanji: it expresses the thing we prefer categorically between two generals.


Do you prefer rice or bread for breakfast?

The term () presupposes a group membership and the concept expressed in the sentence is:

⇨ Do you belong to the category that likes rice or bread for breakfast?


I get more work done late at night than during the day.


I'd rather sleep at home than go out on holidays.

Synonym of むしろ is どちらかといえば if I had to choose one...


If anything, I prefer coffee.

⇨ If I have to choose between the two, I prefer coffee

Examples of むしろ


Some say flying is rather economical.


I would rather take a taxi than walk.

The first element of comparison is followed by より, よりも or というよりも.


He is a poet rather than a scholar.