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Session 36

How do you know the difference between 'if' and 'whether'? Let Sam teach you when to use ‘if’ and when to use ‘whether’ in this English In A Minute.

Activity 1

If vs Whether

Let Sam teach you when to use ‘if’ and when to use ‘whether’ in this English In A Minute.

Watch the video and complete the activity

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Sam

When do we use if and when do we use whether?

Let's take a look.

The simple rule is that with conditional sentences we use if, and when we have two options, we use whether.

If I get hungry, I’ll have a snack.

But I don’t know whether to have an apple or a biscuit.

When asking an indirect yes/ no question, we can use either if or whether - both are correct.

Do you know if the apples are fresh?

Do you know whether the biscuits are any good?

Whether is maybe a little bit more formal, but with both questions there are only two possible answers – yes or no.

Why don’t you try now!

Write us a question or a sentence using if or whether in the comments to practise.

We love hearing from you.

If vs Whether

If

The simple rule is that with conditional sentences we use if.

  • If you like dancing, you should go to the club.
  • If you are scared of spiders, you won't like this.

Whether

 When we have two options, we use whether.

  • I don't know whether to eat some cake or a bisuit.
  • I can't decide whether to buy it in blue or red.

If or Whether

 When asking an indirect yes/ no question, we can use either if or whether.

  • Do you know if the station is this way?
  • Do you know whether the station is this way?

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