Difference Between Weather and Whether (With Table)

The English language has a vast vocabulary with words that are often very confusing to decipher. Some have similar spellings but sound different when spoken (read in the present and past tense). Others have different spellings and meanings, but their pronunciation is exactly the same. Weather and whether are two such words. They are called homophones.

Weather vs Whether

The difference between weather and whether is that weather is generally used as a noun which means ‘the situation of the atmosphere outside’. It can also be used as a verb which then refers to the act of withstanding a difficult situation. On the other hand, whether is a conjunction that is used to link two alternatives. It has a similar meaning to the word ‘if’.

Weather can be used both as a noun, verb, and adjective as well. When used as a noun, it refers to the conditions of the environment and atmosphere that are prevalent during a specific time at any place. It could prompt several thoughts including temperature, wind, rainfall, etc. When used a verb or adjective, ‘ed’ is generally added to the end of the word.

Whether has a completely different meaning than ‘weather’, and both the words are not interchangeable. The term ‘whether’ is a conjunction that is used to express the feeling of doubt or choice between two or more different alternatives. ‘Whether’ can also be replaced by ‘if’, but not all the time.

Comparison Table Between Weather and Whether

Parameters of ComparisonWeatherWhether
NatureWeather can be used as a noun, verb, and adjective as well.Whether can only be used as a conjunction.
MeaningIt refers to the state of the environment and atmosphere at any place during a specific time.It is used to express a doubt or to make a choice between two or more alternatives.
SpeechIt can be used in both direct and indirect speech.It is generally used in indirect speech.
SpellingThe term is spelt with the letter ‘a’ in it.The term is spelt without the letter ‘a’ in it.
Example“We are expecting pleasant weather this winter.”“I wonder whether she likes it or not.”

What is Weather?    

When used as a noun, weather refers to the state of the environment and atmosphere at any place at a specific time. It describes the degree to which it is hot, cold, calm, stormy, wet, dry, clear, or cloudy. It is used to prompt the day-to-day temperature, precipitation, or other atmospheric conditions. Some examples of the term in a sentence are –

‘How is the weather in California these days?’

‘What is the weather forecast for today?’

The term can also be used in sentences as a transitive verb. Then, it refers to the act of bearing and making it safely through a bad condition. It is generally used in case of a storm; however, it could be used for any kind of crisis. Some examples of the term used in a sentence are –

‘The team weathered the storm of the opposition’s offence.’

‘The ship was able to weather the storm that night.’

When used as an adjective, the term refers to the effects that certain conditions have on someone. This could be a change in colour, condition, etc., because of exposure to the sun, rain, or wind over a period of time. The term used in such cases is ‘weathered’. Some examples of the term used in a sentence are –

‘The chair has a weathered look which makes it look like an antique.’

‘Anna’s weathered jeans look amazing.’

What is Whether?

Whether is a conjunction that introduces a direct interrogative question. It indicates doubt or choice between two or multiple alternative possibilities. It has a meaning similar to that of the term ‘if’. However, the words ‘if’ and ‘whether’ are not interchangeable. However, in cases when the used term forms a conjunctive clause or introductory clause, ‘whether’ can be replaced with ‘regardless if’.

The term is often confused with ‘weather’ as the two words are homophones. This means that even though they have a similar pronunciation, their spelling and meaning is different. ‘Whether’ is mostly used in indirect speech.

Some examples of sentences that include the term ‘whether’ are –

‘He wanted to know whether he had our support or not.’

‘I’m taking the decision of moving to another country, whether you like it or not.’

‘Let me know whether she’s at home or at the park.’

‘Whether by luck or skill, he managed to win the basketball match.’

‘We could not decide whether to order a pizza or Indian food.’

‘Whether you do it alone or with the help of others, just finish the project within the given deadline.’

‘I can’t decide whether to stay at home or go with her to the game.’

Main Differences Between Weather and Whether

  1. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere at any place during a specific time whereas whether is used to express a doubt or choice between two or more alternatives.
  2. Weather can be used as a noun and a verb whereas whether can only be used as a conjunction.
  3. Weather can be used as an adjective whereas whether cannot.
  4. Weather can be used in both direct and indirect speech whereas whether can only be used in indirect speech.
  5. Weather is spelt with the letter ‘a’ whereas whether is spelt without the letter ‘a’.

Conclusion

Weather and whether are homophones which often makes it confusing for people to use them correctly. However, understanding the difference between them may solve the problem. A major distinguishing factor between the two is their meaning. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere at any place during a specific time whereas whether is used to express a doubt or choice between alternatives,

Moreover, weather can be used as a noun, verb, and adjective as well. On the other hand, whether can only be used as a conjunction. Apart from this, the two have different spellings as well as are used differently regarding speech.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/9ff4624a2f5c5e9ca0f8715f8f4527fc/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=626342
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429453267-11/weather-place-phillip-vannini-bradley-austin
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