The Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'weather' and 'whether'?

What is the difference between 'weather' and 'whether'?

What is the difference between 'weather' and 'whether'?

The words weather and whether are often confused because they have the same pronunciation but different meanings. But what is the difference?

Whether means indicating doubt or an inquiry about an unknown when used as a conjunction.

Weather means the short term state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, including the temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, wind, etc when used as a noun.

A good way to remember the difference is the WEather is WEt.

Out of the two words, 'whether' is the most common. It appears about six times more frequently than 'weather'.



Weather and whether are easy to confuse because they are homophones, which means they sound the same. These two words have very different meanings, though. Here's how to tell the difference.

Whether is a conjunction. It indicates doubt or a choice (I don't know whether or not to take the job), and it can also express an inquiry (I wonder whether he has returned yet).

Weather can be used as a verb or a noun. As a noun, it refers to the state of the atmosphere, including the current precipitation, temperature, and pressure. As a verb, it means to withstand or come through a literal or metaphorical storm.

Is the phrase 'fair weather friend' or 'fair whether friend'?

You should use 'fair weather friend'. These phrases are often confused because they sound the same.

Is the phrase 'weather the storm' or 'whether the storm'?

The right expression is 'weather the storm'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar sound.

What's the correct phrase: 'under the weather' or 'under the whether'?

The right expression is 'under the weather'. These phrases are often confused because they have the same pronunciation but different meanings.

Is the phrase 'weather or not' or 'whether or not'?

The correct phrase is 'whether or not.' These phrases are often confused because they are homophones.

Some synonyms of weather are: decay, defy, withstand, overcome.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary and Oxford.

Dictionary Definition of weatherDictionary Definition of whether

Examples of weather in a sentence

The weather is magnificent.
- Grand Junction by Maurice G. Dantec
She talks to me about work and the weather, and the news, and she’s, she—”
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
Thinks it’s all Cynthia’s fault—something about an English preference for miserable weather…”
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
He stretched and examined the southeastern horizon, where most of Newenhams weather came from.
- Nothing gold can stay by Dana Stabenow
No weather for driving a car.
- Doctor No by Ian Fleming

Examples of whether in a sentence

Whether whole or broken…”
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
You will have to decide whether or not to call out, It’s me.
- Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren
One of you call me tomorrow about whether or not we’re in business.”
- The Haunted Air by F. Paul Wilson
Had they said whether the killing was in the line of duty or something else?
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber
Whether from the storm or the rest of the roof cutting the lines, I didn’t know.
- Touch of Darkness by C. T. Adams; Cathy Clamp
Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.

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