The words wether, whether, and weather are often confused because they’re pronounced very similarly. Many writers accidentally use the wrong spelling in their work, which can confuse the reader or make their work look unprofessional.
So how do you know if you’re using the right one?
The short answer is that wether is a male goat or sheep, whether means “if,” and weather means the state of the atmosphere.
This article will explain the meanings of these three similar words in more detail and provide tips to help you remember which one to use.
The Difference Between Wether vs. Whether vs. Weather
Wether Definition and Meaning
Wether means a castrated male sheep or goat.
Of the three possible spellings, wether is the least commonly used. Unless your job involves handling livestock, you may never need to use this word at all. Chances are, you’ll want whether or weather instead.
The bell that a shepherd attaches to their lead animal is called a bellwether. This word is derived from wether and is now used to describe anyone who leads.
Here are some examples of the word wether in a sentence:
- The shepherd bought a new wether to add to his flock.
- All the other sheep in the flock will follow the lead wether.
- I saw some strong wethers at the goat market.
A good way to remember the difference between wether, whether, and weather is to think that a castrated goat is missing something, so wether is missing an H or an A.
If you’re not sure if you’ve correctly used whether, weather, or wether, you can run your work through ProWritingAid’s grammar checker, which will let you know if you’re using the wrong word and tell you how to fix it.
Whether Definition and Meaning
It’s harder to remember when to use whether or weather—many writers get these words mixed up.
We use the word whether to indicate doubt between alternatives. You can think of it as a synonym for the word “if.”
Here are some examples of the word whether in a sentence:
- I’ll love you whether or not you pass your chemistry test tomorrow.
- Have you decided whether you want Chinese food or Mexican food for dinner?
- You have to finish your vegetables, whether you like them or not.
A common phrase that includes the word whether is “whether or not.” Whenever you use this phrase, you should always use whether with an H.
Weather Definition and Meaning
We use the noun weather to describe the state of the atmosphere. The weather includes factors such as heat, wind, rain, moisture level, and more.
Here are some examples of the noun weather in a sentence:
- How are you enjoying the sunny weather in California?
- Did you see the weather forecast for tomorrow?
- We’ll take our dog to the park this afternoon if the weather clears up.
Weather can also be a verb that means to endure the weather (noun). It’s often used as a synonym for “to endure” or “to withstand.”
Here are some examples of the verb weather in a sentence:
- The tiny fishing boat managed to weather the storm without capsizing.
- She had to weather a lot of adversity to get to where she is today.
- It’s easier to weather hardships if you have good friends by your side.
There are many common phrases that incorporate the word weather, including:
- Weather forecast (meaning a prediction for the state of the atmosphere)
- Weather permitting (meaning if the state of the atmosphere is good enough to allow it)
- Inclement weather (meaning a severe storm)
- Under the weather (meaning ill or unwell)
- Fair weather friend (meaning a friend who will leave you when times get hard)
Whenever you use these phrases, you should always spell weather with an A.
Now you know the difference between wether, whether, and weather. What other words do you tend to get confused with one another? Let us know in the comments.