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  1. #1
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default whether it was... / whether it was not...

    Someone was checking a document written by his coworker and found something, which looks like a mistake.
    He says, to the coworker,

    1. Please confirm whether this is a mistake.
    2. Please confirm whether this is not a mistake.

    Are both grammatically correct?

    I think No.2 means he is almost sure it is a mistake and No.2 is close to saying "Isn't this a mistake?"
    Am I correct?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: whether it was... / whether it was not...

    S/he is unlikely to ask the coworker to confirm that it is a mistake. S/he might ask the coworker to confirm that (not 'whether') something is not a mistake

  3. #3
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: whether it was... / whether it was not...

    Thank you so much for your answer.

    Maybe my example was not good.
    How about other situations, which requires you to use "whether"?
    What I'd like to know is if there is difference in meaning between 1 and 2.

    1. ... whether (someone/something) is ...
    2. ... whether (someone/something) is not ...

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: whether it was... / whether it was not...

    Using the "not" means you think it's more likely that it's not the case.

    In your first example, I think it's probably right. But I may be mistaken and in fact it's wrong. So I ask you to confirm that it's NOT a mistake.

    Its not as common I think but it's not wrong.

  5. #5
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: whether it was... / whether it was not...

    Thank you so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Using the "not" means you think it's more likely that it's not the case.
    Could anyone show me an example for this please? I can't think of an appropriate context. "whether it is... / whether it is not..." is a question I have always been wondering, but I don't have a particular sentence at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In your first example, I think it's probably right. But I may be mistaken and in fact it's wrong. So I ask you to confirm that it's NOT a mistake.

    Its not as common I think but it's not wrong.
    I'm having difficulties understanding what these "it" means. Soryy for my poor reading skills.

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