Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the EnglishProofreading Service - Pain in the English

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J Anthony Carter

Member Since

November 28, 2011

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Latest Comments

that vs. if and whether

  • February 25, 2012, 4:02am

One thing is sure. Your need to add "OR NOT" to the WHETHER usage is a redundancy. The inclusion of "whether" already stipulates a request for an understanding between the pro and con side of the stated argument. Adding "OR NOT" only doubles this, like saying "I wonder WHETHER OR NOT this is a fact or not". It should simply and correctly read "I wonder WHETHER this is a fact" because it either is or it isn't.

Lol, yeah, I don't really like spouting the stuff that was drilled into me when I was young but having an English teacher for a grandmother was more than any poor kid should have had to put up with.
Thing is, I doubt I'd've been anywhere near the reading junky I am now without it. I also owe her for my vocabulary, total lack of fear of speaking in public and at least SOME of my grasp of logic and the the other two languages I speak besides!

The rule might seem complicated but it's really not. When referring to many/more than one use "are" when referring to one use "is". When you're referring to an object with many items but only the one object, it's still singular. A list may have multiple items but as an object it's still only one thing. If you're talking about many lists then we're back to multiples again.