Whether

I'm pretty sure you've heard 'whether' before, haven't you? Well, in this lesson, we are gonna see what we can learn about this word.

'Whether' is a commonly used conjunction in the English language. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

'Whether' as a Conjunction

As stated above, 'whether' mainly functions as a conjunction. Below, we are going to analyze the kind of conjunction it is:

'Whether' as a Subordinating Conjunction

'Whether' is a subordinating conjunction, meaning that it is used to connect a dependent clause to an independent clause. It is mostly accompanied by another subordinating conjunction 'or'. Let us analyze its different meanings as a conjunction below:

• When we want to choose between two possibilities or choices, we use 'whether':

Let's see whether he has attended last week's seminar or not.

The government doesn't really care whether or not people are able to live healthily.

• When we want to show that something is certain in either situations:

I'm calling Martha whether you agree with me or not.

The whole project will fail whether we come to a decision or not.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'whether' is a subordinating conjunction here, it mainly connects two clauses together. It mostly comes either at the beginning of the dependent clause or between the clauses we want to join. Let us take a look at the following examples:

Whether the company supports us or not, he will always be there for us.

Here, the subordinating conjunction is at the beginning of the dependent clause.

Keep watching the episodes whether you enjoy it or not.

As you can see, the conjunction is placed between the two clauses.

Warning!

Note that whenever we have a subordinating conjunction at the beginning of the clause, we must always put a comma before the next clause starts.