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Whether Vs. Weather

August 4, 2016

Whether or not we go depends on the weather…

There are many commonly confused words in English. Words that sound the same, have the same spelling, or have the same meaning can drive our students to distraction. Homophones such as it's/its, too/to/two, they're/there/their, and your/you're are well-known examples of tricky terms.

Today's words, whether and weather, aren't used quite as often, but I've seen countless students mix them up over the years. The next time one of your students makes an error with whether or weather, present the information below—your students will thank you!

Quick Tip

Get your students to memorize this sentence: You need a sweater in cool weather. Both sweater and weather are spelled with an "a."


Meaning: Whether is used to mean if or to show possibilities or choices.
Structure: Whether is found at the beginning of a sentence or clause. It is often followed by the phrase or not.
  • Do you know whether he's coming tonight?
  • Whether or not it rains, we're playing softball this weekend.
  • They won't go whether or not they're invited.


Meaning: Weather is a very common word in English. It represents the conditions outdoors such as sun, rain, snow, etc.
Structure: Weather is a noun, so it takes a subject or object position in the sentence (before or after the verb). It usually follows the article the.
  • How's the weather where you live?
  • If the weather is nice, we will go to the beach on Saturday.
  • I don't like cold weather.

Did You Know?

The phrase or not can follow whether directly, but it can also follow whether + clause with no change in meaning. It can also be dropped.

  • I'm not sure whether or not I'll apply for the job.
  • I'm not sure whether I'll apply for the job or not.
  • I'm not sure whether I'll apply for the job.
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Comments (4)

Sheikh Md.Alamgir(Guest)

Good presentation for learner

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)


綸 蔚.(Teacher)

Nice! Now, I got it!

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

I'm happy to hear that!

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