whether ,if

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alan

Junior Member
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Jul 8, 2004
why sometimes we add "or not" after whether or if ,but sometimes not?
how to determine when we should add it ?
 
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Natalie27

Guest
alan said:
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 :lol:
 
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wunaide

Guest
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...
 
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Natalie27

Guest
wunaide said:
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. :shock:
 

alan

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
but i have seen that there are examples of direct questions without "or not" .
so ....??
 
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Natalie27

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

sooo?...
how about an example? :lol:
 

alan

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
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.
 
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Natalie27

Guest
alan said:
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
 
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Nahualli

Guest
Natalie27 said:
alan said:
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-
 
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TheMadBaron

Guest
'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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