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Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.Dale Carnegie
|Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.|
Old English hwæþer
- enPR: wĕ'thə(r), IPA: /ˈwɛðə(r)/, SAMPA: /"wED@(r)/
- enPR: hwĕ'thə(r), IPA: /ˈʍɛðə(r)/, SAMPA: /"WED@(r)/
- help, file
- Rhymes: -ɛðə(r)
- Hyphenation: wheth·er
- Used to introduce an interrogative content clause (indirect question) that consists of multiple alternative possibilities, and indicate uncertainty between them; if.
- He chose the correct answer, but whether by luck or by skill I don't know.
- Used to introduce a yes-or-no interrogative content clause (indirect question) that consists of a single possibility, and indicate uncertainty over it; if, whether or not.
- Do you know whether he's coming?
- Used to introduce multiple alternative possibilities, and indicate the irrelevance of which is the case; regardless of whether, no matter whether.
- He's coming, whether you like it or not.
- There is some overlap in usage between the first two senses, in that a yes-or-no interrogative content clause can list the two possibilities explicitly in a number of ways:
- Do you know whether he's coming or staying?
- Do you know whether he's coming or not?
- Do you know whether or not he's coming?
- Unlike sense 1, sense 3 does not have a counterpart that introduces only a single possibility; *"He's coming, whether you like it" is ungrammatical.
- In traditional grammar, the clauses headed by whether in senses 1 and 2 are classified as noun clauses, and those headed by whether in sense 3 are classified as adverb clauses.
if (in indirect questions)
whether or not
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