Whether and If

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Whether and If :




“If” is used frequently in casual speech and writing where some others would prefer “whether”:


“I wonder if you would be willing to dress up as a giant turnip for the parade?” Revise to “I wonder whether. . . .” “If" can’t really be called an error, but when you are discussing two alternative possibilities, “whether” sounds more polished.


The two possibilities in this example are:


1) you would be willing


or


2) you wouldn’t.


In sentences using “whether” “or not” is often understood.)


Don’t substitute the very different word “whither,” which means “where.”

Common Errors Index




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