Skip to main content
Publish date:

Weather vs. Whether (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between weather and whether with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

This week, we're going to hang around in the world of homophones with weather and whether. One word refers to the atmospheric conditions many of us observe every day, while the other is a conjunction that refers to alternative conditions or outcomes. I'm actually a little surprised I haven't covered this one before, because my baby brother makes his living as a storm chaser.

(20 Homophones Examples for Writers.)

So let's look at the differences between weather and whether and when to use each.

Weather vs. Whether (Grammar Rules)

Weather vs. Whether

Weather can be used as a noun or verb. As a noun, it refers to the state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature, precipitation, and other variables. As a verb, it can refer to the process of exposing things to the open air or to the process of making it safely through something. For instance, a person may weather a divorce or college.

(Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weather Breaks.)

Whether, on the other hand, is a conjunction that implies alternative conditions or outcomes. For instance, a person may decide whether they wish to stand outside in the rain.

Make sense?

Here are a few examples of weather and whether:

Correct: She always checks the weather before going on long trips.
Incorrect: She always checks the whether before going on long trips.

Correct: He's not sure whether he should be a clown or zombie at the costume party.
Incorrect: He's not sure weather he should be a clown or zombie at the costume party.

Here's my trick for telling these two apart: I look at the "wh" in "whether" and think of it as a question (like why, what, when, where, and who). So it's sort of asking a question about the possibilities. Then, weather has the word "earth" in it, and the atmosphere has the earth in it as well. A stretch? Maybe, but it works.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a remix poem.

15 Promotional Ideas for Nonfiction Authors

15 Promotional Ideas for Nonfiction Authors

For the introverted writer, the process of promoting your book may seem to be a daunting, even frightening undertaking. Here, nonfiction author Rick Lauber lays out 15 promotional ideas for authors to get their books into as many hands as possible.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a Well Blank poem.

Black Friday Savings 2021

Take Advantage of Our Black Friday Deals This Weekend

At Writer's Digest, there's no need to get up early or push and shove at stores to get your Black Friday deals. In fact, we give you the whole weekend to take advantage of them. Check them out here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Break

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Break

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, your character receives an unexpected break or benefit.

The Joys and Challenges of Writing About Food

The Joys and Challenges of Writing About Food

Food takes on a main role in Annabel Abbs' novel, Miss Eliza's English Kitchen, where research incorporated all the senses. Here, she discusses the joys and challenges of writing about food.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a thankful poem.

How To Turn an Idea Into a Chapter Book Series

How To Turn an Idea Into a Chapter Book Series

From finding the idea to writing the manuscript and sending it off to agents, author Christine Evans maps out how to turn an idea into a chapter book series.

8 Tips for Developing a Thrilling Espionage Premise

8 Tips for Developing a Thrilling Espionage Premise

Maintaining tension and high stakes requires careful attention in the writing process. Ambassador Philip Kaplan offers 8 tips for developing a thrilling espionage premise that helped him in writing his debut book, Night in Tehran.