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When reporting a question, how can we decide when to use '''if''' an when to use '''whether''' ?
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After verbs that are more common in a formal style , whether is preferred.
We discussed whether we should close the shop.

In a formal style, whether is usually preferred in a two-part question with or.

If an indirect question is fronted, whether is used.
Whether I'll have time I'm not sure at the moment.

Examples borrowed from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan.
NikooIn a formal style, whether is usually preferred in a two-part question with or.
Could you please explain what a two part question is? I mean, I did not get what you meant by that.
Thanks
KRK
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Here is an example:
The directors have not decided whether they will recommend a dividend or reinvest the profits.

1. The directors have not decided whether they will recommend a dividend.
2. The directors have not decided whether they will reinvest the profits.

Another one:
Since George is over 16, he can legally decide whether or not to stay on at school.
Oh! It was that simple and I thought about it in a very, um, complex sort-of way.
The idea is now very clear, Thanks
KRK
Kartik Raj KannaWhen reporting a question, how can we decide when to use if and when to use whether
Reports of questions used as indirect speech acts favour "if":

"Would you like to stay to dinner"? ~ "I asked them if they'd like to stay to dinner".
"Would you mind moving your car"? ~ "He wants to know if you'd mind moving your car".
"Have you taken leave of your senses"? ~ "He asked me if I'd taken leave of my senses."

"If" tends to be preferred in cases of this kind. "Whether" would give more prominence to the question itself than to the indirect speech act: it focuses on the choice between possible answers.

Different considerations apply to non-reporting sentences, but you specifically asked about reported questions.

BillJ
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BillJ"If" tends to be preferred in cases of this kind. "Whether" would give more prominence to the question itself than to the indirect speech act: it focuses on the choice between possible answers.Different considerations apply to non-reporting sentences, but you specifically asked about reported questions.
Dear BillJ,
What I wrote specifically applies to reported questions.
See Michael Swan, Practical English Usage, Oxford University Press, 3rd ed., p. 610.
The examples you gave are not reported questions, they are non-reported indirect questions, which is not what the OP asked about. See my reply for genuine examples of reported questions.

BillJ