I just thought I'd provide an example of each usage for the benefit of the non-native anglophones reading AUE. These two sentences are from comments to one of my Taiwanese medical authors:
1. "whether or not" is required; only "whether" is insufficient in thissentence:
'What you mean is a "drinker", which is idiomatic English for someone who "consumes" great quantities of alcohol, whether or not he is an alcoholic according to the definition of an alcoholic as someone who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'
2. "whether" is sufficient"; "whether or not" is verbose:

'I'm not sure whether I confused myself or whether I was confused by wording I didn't look at carefully enough.'
==
Serious comments from anyone out there will be appreciated and responded to.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
1 2 3 4 5
On 24 Jul 2004 05:36:34 GMT, CyberCypher
I just thought I'd provide an example of each usage for the benefit of the non-native anglophones reading AUE. These two sentences are from comments to one of my Taiwanese medical authors: 1. "whether or not" is required; only "whether" is insufficient in this sentence:

"'whether' alone/only/on its own" is what you meant to say.
'What you mean is a "drinker", which is idiomatic English for someone who "consumes" great quantities of alcohol, whether or not he is an alcoholic according to the definition of an alcoholic as someone who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'

You could say "regardless whether" if you truly despise whether or not.
2. "whether" is sufficient"; "whether or not" is verbose: 'I'm not sure whether I confused myself or whether I was confused by wording I didn't look at carefully enough.'

"I'm not sure whether I confused myself or was confused by wording..." would be a neat demonstration of how "whether or not" type expressions really should work.
Zen
I just thought I'd provide an example of each usage for the benefit of the non-native anglophones reading AUE. These ... alcoholic according to the definition of an alcoholic as someone who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'

Seems fair enough. "Whether or not" should be substitutable with "Regardless of whether".
I'm pretty sure they're 100% synonymous.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Dylan Nicholson wrote on 24 Jul 2004:
I just thought I'd provide an example of each usage ... who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'

Seems fair enough. "Whether or not" should be substitutable with "Regardless of whether". I'm pretty sure they're 100% synonymous.

I have no problem accepting their fungibility here. They are stylistically different is all.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
'What you mean is a "drinker", which is idiomatic English for someone who "consumes" great quantities of alcohol, whether or not he is an alcoholic according to the definition of an alcoholic as someone who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'

What's with the rash of inverted commas?
Adrian
Adrian Bailey wrote on 24 Jul 2004:
'What you mean is a "drinker", which is idiomatic English ... who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'

What's with the rash of inverted commas?

This sentence comes from a paragraph I wrote about why the author's choice of "alcohol consumer" was incorrect in context. I used the quote marks to isolate and emphasize the important words for the guy. There are other ways of doing it, I know, but that's the way I did it this time.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I just thought I'd provide an example of each usage for the benefit of the non-native anglophones reading AUE. These ... alcoholic according to the definition of an alcoholic as someone who "needs" as little as one small drink every day.'

I agree. To compress the example,
He's a drinker, whether or not he's an alcoholic.
The word order would usually be 'whether he's an alcoholic or not', but in such a long clause, putting the 'not' anywhere else would be confusing.
2. "whether" is sufficient"; "whether or not" is verbose: 'I'm not sure whether I confused myself or whether I was confused by wording I didn't look at carefully enough.'

Compressing again, 'I'm not sure whether I confused myself.' If it were "I'm not sure, whether I confused myself or not" could mean something different, with the inclusion of the comma.

Actually, on that last example, the second 'whether' might be a little verbose.

john
On 24 Jul 2004 07:45:25 GMT, CyberCypher
Dylan Nicholson wrote on 24 Jul 2004:

Seems fair enough. "Whether or not" should be substitutable with "Regardless of whether". I'm pretty sure they're 100% synonymous.

I have no problem accepting their fungibility here.

Yeuk.
Why show off so clumsily? Are you certain that was the right word?

Don't dictionary me, BTW. I know what the dictionary says.

I think you should restrict the meaning of "fungible" more closely. I hope you don't teach your students to abuse words so.
They are stylistically different is all.

"Is all"?
Zen
They are stylistically different is all.

"Is all"?

Of course. It's short for "that is all".

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more