Friday, June 10, 2016

Get It Right: Weather And Whether

It has been nearly a year since we've added to our "Get It Right" series in which we correct common spelling and grammar mistakes, so today we're going to dedicate a post to one of the worst spelling mistakes in English: confusing the words "weather" and "whether".

This one should be easy since "weather" is used so much more frequently, and yet we often see people mixing up these two words. So without further ado, here are the key differences between the two words.

Weather

Weather is the state of the atmosphere, or the word for the conditions you find when you go outside. Since it's such an important part of human life that can greatly affect our activities, it's often one of the first words that is taught to language learners. In most circumstances we use it as a noun, as in "the weather is sunny today".

Whether

Whether, on the other hand, is a conjunction. It is used to express doubt or a choice between options. For example, you could say "I can't decide whether to eat ice cream or cookies for dessert".

Seems easy enough, right? The only situation in which we can really understand people mixing the two up is when using them in the same sentence, since that could be a bit confusing. That said, these explanations should hopefully help you keep them straight, even when you're writing "I'll be going to the barbecue whether the weather is sunny or rainy"!

Is there an English spelling or grammar mistake we haven't covered before that simply drives you crazy? Let us know in the comments and we might cover it in a future post!