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

    As a result of a review, we found some points considered to be mistakes in the documents as follows.
    Please provide your view on whether they should be corrected.

    In this case, if I say "whether they should not be corrected", will the meaning change?
    Will it mean the writer is saying "they should be corrected, shouldn't they?"

    Thank you.

    P.S. I guess some people would say it should be "whether or not they should be corrected", but the writer isn't just asking Yes or No here. The writer thinks "They should be corrected, shouldn't they?"
    Last edited by pinkie9; 04-Jul-2013 at 16:02. Reason: I added P.S.

  2. #2
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    As a result of a review, we found some points considered to be mistakes in the documents as follows.
    Please provide your view on whether they should be corrected.

    In this case, if I say "whether they should not be corrected", will the meaning change?
    Will it mean the writer is saying "they should be corrected, shouldn't they?"

    Thank you.

    P.S. I guess some people would say it should be "whether or not they should be corrected", but the writer isn't just asking Yes or No here. The writer thinks "They should be corrected, shouldn't they?"
    Hello, pinkie.

    I feel "we found some points considered to be mistakes in the documents as follows." can be improved in some way.
    And I'm not really sure if you could use 'whether they should not be corrected'. I'm not familiar with this construction.

    "Please provide your views on whether they should be corrected." sounds fine to me.

    I think we'll need some native speakers' comments.

  3. #3
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    P.S. I guess some people would say it should be "whether or not they should be corrected", but the writer isn't just asking Yes or No here. The writer thinks "They should be corrected, shouldn't they?"
    "Whether" is used when there are two options. The "or not" after "whether" is redundant, but it can be used for emphasis. In this case there are two options:
    1) they should be corrected.
    2) they should not be corrected.

    The double negative in your second example makes things unnecessarily complicated. There are once again two options:
    1) they should not be corrected.
    2) they should not be not corrected.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 04-Jul-2013 at 17:09.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    "Whether" is used when there are two options. The "or not" after "whether" is redundant, but it can be used for emphasis. In this case there are two options:
    1) they should be corrected.
    2) they should not be corrected.

    The double negative in your second example makes things unnecessarily complicated. There are once again two options:
    1) they should not be corrected.
    2) they should not be not corrected.
    I know "or not" after "whether" can be omitted (that's why I omitted it in my first post but wrote an explanation about it.)
    What I'd like to know (I'm not still sure even after reading your reply) is:
    - Is "whether they should not be corrected" different from "whether they should be corrected" in the meaning?
    - Does it mean the writer is saying "they should be corrected, shouldn't they?"

    Thank you.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    I know "or not" after "whether" can be omitted (that's why I omitted it in my first post but wrote an explanation about it.)
    What I'd like to know (I'm not still sure even after reading your reply) is:
    - Is "whether they should not be corrected" different from "whether they should be corrected" in the meaning?
    - Does it mean the writer is saying "they should be corrected, shouldn't they?"

    Thank you.
    I don't think the writer is saying they should be corrected. The writer is asking if they should be corrected. To me it suggests that writer is not certain about the "mistakes".

  6. #6
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I don't think the writer is saying they should be corrected. The writer is asking if they should be corrected. To me it suggests that writer is not certain about the "mistakes".
    Is there any way I can add a nuance of "They should be corrected, shouldn't they?" to "Please provide your view on whether they should be corrected" (without directly saying so)?

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    Is there any way I can add a nuance of "They should be corrected, shouldn't they?" to "Please provide your view on whether they should be corrected" (without directly saying so)?
    Why a nuance?

  8. #8
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Why a nuance?
    Because the original Japanese sentence has it.

  9. #9
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: whether it is / whether it is not

    In general we do not use this construction, since 'whether' automatically entails both positive and negative possibilities.

    However, in rather old-fashioned BrE usage one occasionally comes across a very tentative use of a negative VP after 'whether', e.g. in a sentence such as

    I don't know whether I oughtn't perhaps to have said something...

    serving to convey the speaker's lack of confidence. In the case of your sentence, however, it wouldn't sound natural.

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