Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Help from native speakers

    Yesterday I got a student who asked me, "Does it make any difference between "if" and "whether" in this sentence: "I will go to the dentist whether I am in pain or not."

    For me, I can`t see any difference between them except just my feeling says "whether" sounds more natural.

    What do u think?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by HUFS1999; 24-Jun-2008 at 09:54.

  2. #2
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    404
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Help from native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by HUFS1999 View Post
    Yesterday I got a student who asked me, "Does it make any difference between "if" and "whether" in this sentence: "I will go to the dentist whether I am in pain or not."

    For me, I can`t see any difference between them except just my feeling says "whether" sounds more natural.

    What do u think?

    Thank you in advance.
    Although I'm not a native, I can answer your question. We can add a clause containing "whether" and "or not" to a sentence to indicate that something is true in any of the circumstances we mention. Your sentence is a good example. This remark is a decision. It may be uttered to indicate the speaker's determination to have his or her decayed tooth pulled out at the dentist's. In this case, "whether" cannot be replaced by "if". Another example could be "He's going to buy a house whether he gets married or not."
    Still another example is "I will give an answer to your question whether you doubt its correctness or not."
    By the way, may I know which grade you teach?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Help from native speakers

    As far as I understood "or not" implies "whether"
    Or you can give opposite example

  4. #4
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Help from native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by HUFS1999 View Post
    Yesterday I got a student who asked me, "Does it make any difference between "if" and "whether" in this sentence: "I will go to the dentist whether I am in pain or not."

    For me, I can`t see any difference between them except just my feeling says "whether" sounds more natural.

    What do u think?

    Thank you in advance.
    See also here Writer's Block - Writing Tips - "Whether" Vs. "If" and here GMAT Grammar: "Whether" vs "If".

Similar Threads

  1. take confusing English questions up with native speakers
    By angliholic in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-Nov-2007, 15:54
  2. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-Dec-2006, 08:08
  3. Speaking with native speakers!
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 22-Aug-2005, 03:25

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk