The UVic Writer's Guide

If/ Whether

The two are largely interchangeable, but whether is more precise.

For example, "Tell me whether you see him" is less ambiguous than "Tell me if you see him," which could mean "Tell me whether you can see him now" or "Tell me if you ever see him."

If implies uncertainty while whether implies alternatives ("whether or not").

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated April 19, 1995