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html) IF introduces one condition, whereas WHETHER introduces alternative possibilities, usually with “or not” implied or expressed. 5 Rules to follow: 1. When both choices are given, we generally use whether rather than if: • I don't know whether she's coming or not. (It would be possible to use if here, but less common.) 2. Before an infinitive with to we use whether: • I don't know whether to accept their offer or not. (If would not be used here.) Before infinitive verbs starting 'to' (e.g., whether to ask..). I have been thinking whether to grow my own tomatoes this year. ('To grow' is an infinitive verb) 3. We can use whether after a preposition: • It's a question of whether we can agree on everything. (If would not be used here.) After prepositions. I would like to talk about whether you are going to California. (The word 'about' is a preposition.)
At this point, the flight attendant makes the decision on the passenger stays on the aircraft. (The word 'on' is a preposition.)
4. Both whether and if can be used in indirect speech to introduce a yes/no question: • Did they say whether/if they were going to be late?
usingenglish. After some verbs. I would like to know if it is a true story or fabricated.. . (In this example. the yes/no question is "Am I attending the party?") Janice wondered whether she had unplugged the iron.When reporting yes/no questions.constructions..or. I am unsure whether I will be attending the party. I am unsure if I will be attending the party. Read more at http://www. the two alternatives are 'Mark needs a seat' and 'Mark does not need a seat'. we use whether: • I doubt whether they'll make it. 5. Janice wondered if she had unplugged the iron. (In this example. Inform the clerk whether Mark needs a seat..com/articles/whether-if. 'whether' should be used: To present two alternatives (neither of which is a condition).. It is certainly more formal. I would like to know whether it is a true story or fabricated.) Inform the clerk if Mark needs a seat. the yes/no question is "Did Janine unplug the iron?") In whether/if.html Whether and If (interchangeable) http://www. • We discussed whether it was the correct decision.com/easily_confused/if_and_whether.htm Whether In the following circumstances. (In this example.grammarmonster. The clerk is to be informed in either case. Note: Using 'whether' is far more common.
. Please establish a committee to determine whether the proposed funding lines are appropriate. Anna needs to know the answer regardless of which is chosen.shtml In formal writing.) I doubt whether the team will succeed. in a conditional sentence). ('Whether you sink or swim' is the complement of the verb 'to care'. ('Whether you sink or swim' is the subject of this sentence. In a conditional sentence.(This sentence is not grammatically wrong. a condition has to be satisfied before something occurs. choose whether in formal writing.) When 'whether' starts a clause that is the sentence subject or complement. (This sentence is not grammatically wrong.co. If Use 'if' to introduce a condition (i. In this example.) http://www. (The 'whether you agree or not' is the subject of that sentence. This is a conditional sentence.) 'Whether you are agree or not makes no difference to me'.e. See the section on 'If' below.) I don't care whether you sink or swim.) Let Anna know if the boss is able to go to Crowborough. the clerk is only to be informed if Mark needs a seat. (In this example. . Whether you sink or swim is not my concern.) Let Anna know whether the boss is able to go to Crowborough. Anna needs only to be told if the boss is going to Crowborough. the two alternatives are 'going' and 'not going'.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1535_q uestionanswer/page33. but it does not mean the same as the first example. but it does not mean the same as the one above.bbc. Therefore. In this example. (When if and whether are interchangeable. Mark needing a seat is a condition.
. However. Examples: Reprimand Chris whether or not he is on time today. the 'or not' is superfluous (i.) .... ('.') The parade will go ahead whether it rains or not.regardless of whether he is on time today.e. ('.Examples: If you sing. not required). Peter will catch you if you fall. I'll pay you ten pounds.') (Note: There is leniency on where the 'or not' is placed. It does not have to follow immediately after 'whether'. Whether or Not Very often.regardless of whether it rains. the 'or not' part is required. when 'whether or not' means 'regardless of whether'..