Lesson 7b - Whether , part 2

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Lesson 7b - Whether , part 2


Exercise 1. Rewrite each statement using whether (or not).

Example:

Jennifer asks: “Should I take a sweater?”

You rewrite: “Jennifer doesn’t know whether or not she should take a sweater.

Other possible answers are:

Jennifer doesn’t know whether she should take a sweater or not.

Jennifer doesn’t know whether she should take a sweater.

Number 1. Jennifer asks “Does the black sweater go with the green skirt?”

Answer: Jennifer wants to know whether or not the black sweater goes with the green skirt.

It’s possible to say “Jennifer wants to know whether the black sweater goes with the green skirt.

“Or not” at the very end of the sentence is not incorrect, but it’s a little awkward.

Number 2. Jennifer’s husband asks: “Do I need to wear a tie to the party?”

Answer: Jennifer’s husband wonders whether or not he needs to wear a tie to the party.

It’s also possible to say “Jennifer’s husband wonders whether he needs to wear a tie to the party.

Again “or not” can go at the end of the sentence but maybe a little awkward.

Number 3. Jennifer’s husband asks: “Do you think Claudia and Erik will be at the party?”

Answer: Jennifer’s husband is curious about whether or not Claudia and Erik will be at the party.

Other possible answers are:

Jennifer’s husband is curious about whether Claudia and Erik will be at the party or not.

Jennifer’s husband is curious about whether Claudia and Erik will be at the party.

Note:

Whether (or not) can express uncertainty about two alternatives (two choices).

Here are phrases from that exercise that showed the speaker’s uncertainty:

Doesn’t know whether…

Wants to know whether…

Wonders whether…

Curious about whether…

Let me explain more:

When we express uncertainty, “whether” can be replaced by “if” as long as it’s not before an infinitive or after a preposition.

So you can go back that exercises and change other answer from “whether” to “if”. Except the last one. Listen:

Doesn’t know if she should take a sweater…

Wants to know if the sweater goes with it…

Wonders if a tie is necessary…

But Curious about whether they will be there…

Now here bonus question 4. It’s different from first three and the clue is dealing with three, not two alternatives.

Jennifer says “We have fun when we go out no matter what we do: visiting friends, seeing a movie, or trying a new restaurant.”

How can you rewrite that statement using “whether”?

Answer: Jennifer and her husband have fun whether they visit friends, see a movie, or try a new restaurant.

Are you a little confused about the last statement? Don’t worry. I hope you understand.

First, let me clarify and tell you that “whether or not” express two (or more) possible alternatives.

For example we said “They have fun whether”- they do the first, the second or the third alternatives.

Now a lot of time we use the word “whether” to express two alternatives or two choices. But it’s possible to express more.

Next, let me remind you that second uses of “whether”, it means no matter what:

Whether (or not) can express that the result will be the same no matter which of the alternatives happens or is chosen.

In other example:

We said “They have fun whether they visit friends, see a movie, or try a new restaurant.”

So no matter which of the alternative is chosen, they will have fun, or not talking about uncertainty rather than something happens no matter what.

Exercise 2: Correct the mistake.

Example: Please ask me for help whether you need it.

This is incorrect. The correction is: “Please ask me for help if you need it.”

Remember that sometimes you can use “if” or “whether” in the sentence doesn’t change the meaning.

We can not use “whether” in conditional statements.

Number 1. Mirela wondered whether she should stay up late and study or not to.

The correction is “Mirela wondered whether she should stay up late and study or not”.

Remember the expression is “whether or not” that is too necessary here.

Number 2. At the previous meeting Mr. Wilson initiated a discussion about if the company should downsize or decrease employee’s salaries.

The correction is “At the previous meeting Mr. Wilson initiated a disscussion about whether the company should downsize or decrease employee’s salaries.”

When talking about “uncertainty” here, there are two alternatives, but we can not use “if” after preposition “about”, we must use “whether”.

Also, if we even had a choice, “whether” would be more appropriate because that is very formal statement. The language is very formal.

Number 3. Whether or not Ben keeps his job or loses it will be decided by the company’s ability to maintain sales; without enough sales they cannot afford to pay his salary.

[dich]In this statement, there are two alternatives and clearly stated. So you can not use “or not”.* Trong câu này, có hai sự lựa chọn và được nói một cách rõ ràng. Vì vậy bạn không thể sử dụng “or not”.[dich]

You could say “Whether or not Ben keeps his job will be decided by the company’s ability to maintain sales”,

but you can not use “whether or not” and clearly stated two alternatives,

you need to choose name one alternative and use “or not” to imply the second, Or omit “or not” but make the two alternatives clear.

Number 4. I know you don’t like this dress, but I’m going to wear it if you like it or not.

Correction is “I know you don’t like this dress, but I’m going to wear it whether you like it or not.

This statement does not express any kinds of certainties. We need “whether” to express no matter what.

Now some of views make you confuse about when we can omit or leave out “or not”. So let me explain a little more.

You can omit “or not” when the other alternative is implied (clearly understood).

For example:

“I wonder whether Claudia and Erik will be at the party.”

The first alternative: They will be at the party.

The second alternative: They won’t be at the party.

The second alternative isn’t stated, but clearly implied so you can leave out “or not”.

When we want to say that the result will be the same no matter which of two alternatives happens or is chosen, we use “or not”.

Then “whether or not” means “regardless” or “no matter what”.

Here some examples which “whether or not” must be included.

I’m going to wear the dress whether you like it or not.

Whether you like it or not, I’m going to wear the dress.

She’s going to the party whether you want her to or not.

Whether you want her to or not, she’s going to the party.

Watch and listen again to my opening talk. Pay attention to my use of “whether” and “if”.

And see how much better you understand now.

Right now I’m going to give you a look into my bedroom closet.

As you can see, it’s a double closet.

I have one side, and my husband has the other.

But I have more clothes than he does.

So whether he likes it or not, I use his side of the closet, too.

Actually, the only thing my husband complains about is that I have some things that are very old and out-of-fashion.

It’s true. I have sweatshirts that are at least 10 years old.

But if you take care of things, they can last a long time, right?

One problem I have is deciding what to wear for special event.

For example, it’s hard to decide whether to wear dress pants like these or a skirt.

And when you don’t know if it will be warm or cool, you ask yourself,

“Should I take a sweater?”
“Will the sweater go with my skirt?”

Okay. So maybe these are doubts that only women experience.

But don’t men face fashion dilemmas sometimes? I think they do.

Don’t you guys sometimes need a minute to decide whether you should put on a tie for a special event?

And then if you choose to wear a tie, I think you need another minute or two to choose the color.

I think we all want to dress nicely whether it’s to impress others or simply feel good about the way we look.

”Whether” can also be used in reported or indirect speech with touch of .. lesson, but you could make a topic in future lessons.

That’s all for now. Thanks for watching and happy studies!

 

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