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whether or not/if or not/ whether

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jullianus, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    Hello.

    When 'whether' has the meaning of 'regardless of whether', 'or not' is required. (http://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/if_and_whether.htm, http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/if-versus-whether.aspx)

    But, 'whether' having the meaning of 'regardless of whether' is only the case that 'whether-clause' is an adverbial-clause. When 'whether' has the meaning of 'regardless of whether', it can't be a noun-clause. Therefore, 'or not' can always be ommited in the noun-clause but can't ommited in the adverbial-clause which has the meaning of 'regardless of whether'. Am I right?

    1a. I don't know whether he knows this (or not) ('or not' is optional because whther-clause is a noun-cluase)
    1b. Whether (or not) the new car is safe is uncertain. ('or not' is optional)
    2a. I don't know if he likes me (or not). ('or not' is optional)
    3a. The soccer game will kick off whether it rains or not. ('or not' is obligatory because whether-clause is an adverbial-clause and has the meaning of 'regradless of whether)

    Is my hypothesis correct?

    Thank you always~.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  2. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    Yes, I agree with you, all four examples are correct and your reasoning seems fine. :)
     
  3. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    4a. They should stay here whether you like it or not. b. They should stay here if you like it or not.
    5a. I will go to the party whether you can or not. b. I will go to the party if you can or not.
    6a. I will go swimming tomorrow whether it rains or not. b. I will go swimming tomorrow if it rains or not.
    7a. Whether it rains or not, I will go swimming tommorrow. b. If it rains or not, I will go swimming tommorrow.

    I think all (b)'s are adverbial-clauses, not noun-clasues. Then, in if-cluase as adverbial-clasue, can 'or not' be used like b version? If so, do b version have the same meaning with a version? And I think that 'or not' can't be ommitted. Am I right?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  4. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    All of the b. phrases aren't used (and seem wrong, or at least sound unnatural), when saying "regardless of" something, we tend to always use "whether... or not", so these phrases use "whether" in a slightly different way to your first set... (except for 3a, which also means "regardless of...").

    :)
     

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