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Weather vs Whether | Grammar Differences

22 January 2021

When you're learning English, do you often get confused when you come across two words that sound the same but mean different things? Here's one that a lot of people, even native speakers, get mixed up: the difference between the words weather and whether.

It's easy to confuse the two, because they are homophones. Homophones are two words that sound the same ("homo" = same, "phono" = sound), even though they mean different things and are spelled differently.



When we talk about the weather, we're talking about if it is raining, or hot or cold. Some things you would say about the weather are:

  • The weather has been really bad this week. It's been raining every day.
  • The football game was cancelled because of bad weather




The word whether is used to show a choice between multiple things. There are many different ways to use this word:

  • Ask Tim whether he would like to go to the movies. (In this case "or not" is implied, not stated directly)
  • Do you know whether Tim has gone home or if he is still in class?
  • We will play our football match whether it rains or shines

If you get confused, just remember that "rain" is a type of weather, and both have an "a" in them!


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