English Language English Grammar: When use If or Whether

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When to use "whether" or "if" in English?

Use "if" or "whether" (Interchangeable):[edit | edit source]

Whether and if can be used interchangeably in the following circumstances:

When reporting yes/no questions.[edit | edit source]

  • I am not sure whether I will be attending the event.
  • I am not sure if I will be attending the event.

(In this example, the yes/no question is "Am I attending the event?")

or[edit | edit source]

  • I would like to know whether it is a true story or fabricated.
  • I would like to know if it is a true story or fabricated.

Note: Using whether is far more common. It is certainly more formal.

Use only "if" with:[edit | edit source]

the conditional tense[edit | edit source]

A sentence that can only be realized under certain conditions.

  • Bob didn’t know if Amanda was going away.

Use only "whether" when[edit | edit source]

Verb with "to"[edit | edit source]

  • Bob didn’t know whether to invite Amanda to the party.

With "or not"[edit | edit source]

  • Whether or not you want me to, I am going to the party.


Vincent, and Pajal7

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