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Thread: whether ,if

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Default whether ,if

    why sometimes we add "or not" after whether or if ,but sometimes not?
    how to determine when we should add it ?

  2. #2
    Natalie27 Guest

    Default Re: whether ,if

    Quote Originally Posted by alan
    why sometimes we add "or not" after whether or if ,but sometimes not?
    how to determine when we should add it ?
    Each "whether" demands "or not" to follow. However, in case of indirect questions you don't need "or not" :

    ex. "I asked her whether she knew how to get to the new movie theater".

    Mind you, you can also use "if" in that example and it will still be correct .
    If you want to express a set of possibilities or alternatives, you will want to use "whether".
    Ex.
    I am going to the beach whether it rains or not.
    I am telling whether you like it or not.
    The President was wondering whether to proceed with the speech or to leave it for later.

    Also, "whether" can be followed by another "whether" :

    ex.
    Whether we win or whether we lose, we are going to stay the course of the whole season.

    hope it helps

  3. #3
    wunaide Guest

    Default Re: whether ,if

    Also, "whether" can be followed by another "whether" :

    ex.
    Whether we win or whether we lose, we are going to stay the course of the whole season.
    Maybe in Canada, but where I come from that would not be considered respectable English (in academic circles at any rate). The following is a little easier on my grammar organs:

    Regardless of whether we win or lose, we are going to stay the course of the whole season.

    might be a regional thing...

  4. #4
    Natalie27 Guest

    Default Re: whether ,if

    Quote Originally Posted by wunaide
    Also, "whether" can be followed by another "whether" :

    ex.
    Whether we win or whether we lose, we are going to stay the course of the whole season.
    Maybe in Canada, but where I come from that would not be considered respectable English (in academic circles at any rate). The following is a little easier on my grammar organs:

    Regardless of whether we win or lose, we are going to stay the course of the whole season.

    might be a regional thing...
    The extra "whether" is unnecessary but ACCEPTABLE...academic circles or not. Nice to know you hang around educated people. You must be welll educated yourself, I presume.

  5. #5
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    Default

    but i have seen that there are examples of direct questions without "or not" .
    so ....??

  6. #6
    Natalie27 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alan
    but i have seen that there are examples of direct questions without "or not" .
    so ....??
    sooo?...
    how about an example?

  7. #7
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    Default

    i dont know whether he likes flowers - direct without or not

    i asked him whether he had done all the work himself or not
    indirect with or not

    it seems that we can add or not in any cases...??!
    i really dont understand.

  8. #8
    Natalie27 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alan
    i dont know whether he likes flowers - direct without or not

    i asked him whether he had done all the work himself or not
    indirect with or not

    it seems that we can add or not in any cases...??!
    i really dont understand.
    Hi Alan,

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. The message slipped to a different screen and I forgot to go back to look for it. :(

    OK. A little explanation to straighten things out.

    I said "Each "whether" demands "or not" to follow. I should have given you a few examples to show what I meant by it.
    Ex.

    Whether you like my wedding dress or not, I am buying it!
    The new insurance policy for class 5 drivers will go up whether you have had any accidents or not.

    At times, "whether" alone is enough. In such sentences "or not" is unessential though it cannot hurt. This is the case of indirect questions ( indirect speech).

    Your sentence:

    " I don't know whether he likes flowers" is just a statement. It's not a question.

    A: I don't know whether he likes flowers".

    in reported speech the sentence would be:

    B: "She said she didn't know whether he liked flowers".

    As for other examples, I guess just common sense will tell you whether you really need to insert "or not" in your sentence or whether you can skip it altogether. If you feel the same thought can be clearly conveyed by "whether" alone, just stay with "whether" only. :D

  9. #9
    Nahualli Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie27
    Quote Originally Posted by alan
    i dont know whether he likes flowers - direct without or not

    i asked him whether he had done all the work himself or not
    indirect with or not

    it seems that we can add or not in any cases...??!
    i really dont understand.
    Hi Alan,

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. The message slipped to a different screen and I forgot to go back to look for it. :(

    OK. A little explanation to straighten things out.

    I said "Each "whether" demands "or not" to follow. I should have given you a few examples to show what I meant by it.
    Ex.

    Whether you like my wedding dress or not, I am buying it!
    The new insurance policy for class 5 drivers will go up whether you have had any accidents or not.

    At times, "whether" alone is enough. In such sentences "or not" is unessential though it cannot hurt. This is the case of indirect questions ( indirect speech).

    Your sentence:

    " I don't know whether he likes flowers" is just a statement. It's not a question.

    A: I don't know whether he likes flowers".

    in reported speech the sentence would be:

    B: "She said she didn't know whether he liked flowers".

    As for other examples, I guess just common sense will tell you whether you really need to insert "or not" in your sentence or whether you can skip it altogether. If you feel the same thought can be clearly conveyed by "whether" alone, just stay with "whether" only. :D
    I'd also like to add that it's also commonplace to add the full "whether or not" instead of breaking it up such as

    "I did not know whether or not she liked flowers."

    -Nah-

  10. #10
    TheMadBaron Guest

    Default

    'Or not' can add an expressive emphasis, to a rhetorical question, or when you have to push someone to make a quick decision.

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