Weather vs Whether

The words weather and whether have nothing in common other than their pronunciation, but English speakers are sometimes unsure which one to use. Find out whether you need to correct your spelling.


Weather is usually a noun:

How’s the weather?

The weather is always great this time of year

What’s the weather like in Spain?

Weather is also a verb that means "to be affected by the weather":

That house is really weathered

Figuratively, weather means "to get/live through":

I know we can weather this crisis


Whether is a conjunction that introduces possibilities or alternatives:

Do you know whether he is coming?

You’ll do it whether you like it or not

Whether you win or lose, you’ll have done your best

(Note the correct spelling: whether. A "wether" is a male sheep (usually castrated).

The Bottom Line

The words weather and whether are pronounced identically, hence the confusion in spelling. Just remember that whether is more or less interchangeable with "if," while weather indicates the temperature and atmospheric conditions.

1 Response

  1. Greg 9 April 2015 / 16:48

    These two words only sound alike in certain dialects of English. In other dialects, the ‘wh’ of whether is pronounced as ‘HW’ (like what, who, which, why, where etc.). Actually, who is an exception, being pronounced as ‘hoo’.

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