weather vs whether

What is the difference?

definition: the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.
  1. if the weather's good we can go for a walk
meteorological conditions, atmospheric conditions, meteorology, climate
definition: expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives
  1. he seemed undecided whether to go or stay
  2. it is still not clear whether or not he realizes
whether, whether or not

weather vs whether

Weatherwhether, and wether are so commonly confused that English speakers and students learning English often can't tell the difference. These three words are homophones; they sound the same when spoken but have entirely different meanings.

1. weather

noun, verb

The weather is beautiful today! Weather is a noun and a verb, but its meaning depends on how you want to use it.

Using Weather As A Noun

When you use weather as a noun, it refers to the actual state of the weather in a particular place or at a specific time; in other words, if it's raining, cloudy, or the sun is shining, you can use weather as a noun to broadly define the state of it.

Using Weather As A Verb

Weather as a verb normally refers to the ability of something to withstand harsh conditions, such as when in a crisis or torrential rain. The verb "weathered" refers to the condition of something when it's exposed to the weather.


What About Wether?

If you've dealt with livestock, you're likely to have encountered the word wether before; however, for many of us, wether looks like a misspelling of weather. If you put this word into a spell checker, it will likely appear incorrect.

Wether refers to a young castrated sheep, and In Old English, it was used to refer to a male sheep, regardless of whether it could reproduce.

For example

  • The farmer bought two new wethers to add to his flock.

Examples for weather

How was the weather in Chicago? (Weather as a noun.)

I don't think we should go for a hike, the weather looks bad. (Weather as a noun.)

The weather is always good in Europe. (Weather as a noun.)

We can weather this crisis and get back to normality. (Weather as a verb.)

The storm weathered the mighty ship. (Weather as a verb.)

The three-day camping trip weathered her face. (Weather as a verb.)

2. whether


Whether is a conjunction that can be used in a similar way as "if," and it helps to connect two words or phrases in a sentence, offering up alternatives.

In the tongue twister, "whether the weather be fine..." whether is used in a playful way to say that the weather will do what it wants regardless of whether we like it or not.


Homophones Explained

If you've ever heard the tongue twister, "whether the weather be fine...," then you'll likely be a little confused about the differences between these two words. Weather and whether homophones sound the same when spoken but have completely different meanings. Homophones are commonly confusing, so don't worry if you don't understand them straight away!

Examples for whether

She is going to the party, whether she wants to or not.

I can't decide whether I want to tell them the truth or wait for them to find out.

I don't think he's decided whether he wants to attend college.

I'm not sure whether I should go for the interview or not.

We're not sure whether to come or not. Can I let you know tomorrow?

Whether we win the championship is irrelevant.

Takeaways - Tips

Check out these tips to help you learn the differences.

Weather and Whether

Memorize the meanings of each word. This will help you to determine which one fits into the context of what you want to say.


Look at different examples. Check out opinion pieces for whether, look at weather articles, or research more about wethers.

Bottom Line

Play around with language and learn more words as you go, and improve your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar by checking out dictionaries, grammar pages, and online resources.


When to use weather?

When to use whether?

When to use wether?

How to remember weather vs. whether

Commonly Confusing Words

Spell checkers don't always have you covered. Sometimes your word might be spelled correctly, but it could be the wrong word. In English, there are lots of confusing terms that look alike but are spelled differently, and many terms that mean the same thing but are easily misused.

Here are the most commonly confusing word pairings, with definitions and examples of their usage.

Check it out!