Whether / If

The correct usage of ‘whether’ & ‘if’ – .

1. When framing an indirect question – both, ‘whether’ and ‘if’ .can be used. But,  ‘whether’ is more formal – than – ‘if’.


More formal sentence – We will ask them  whether  they like Hindi movies.

Less formal sentence We will ask them  if  they like Hindi movies.

2. When talking about a possible situation

Use ifwhen expressing doubt. and 

Use whetherwhen expressing the possibility of any one outcome out of two or more alternatives.


I am not sure  if  he’s coming. – Expresses doubt.

I don’t know  whether he’s coming or not.  – Expresses possible outcomes.

3. When talking about a confirmed situation – use ‘whether‘.


Correct sentenceI am going with them,  whether you like it or not.

Incorrect sentence – I am going with them,  if you like it or not.

4. When talking about a condition – use ‘if’.


Correct sentence – You should buy it  if you like it.

Incorrect sentence – You should buy it  whether you like it.

5. When talking about two choices, alternatives, etc – use ‘whether‘.


Correct sentence – The topic is  whether we should be aggressive or not.

Incorrect sentence The topic is  if we should be aggressive or not.