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"If" is used in the GMAT in Conditionals only. If you see "if" in a sentence and there's no condition, you should find an answer choice that uses "whether."
Example: Incorrect:Michael did not know if Margaret was going to come. Correct: Michael did not know whether Margaret was going to come.
Use "whether" when there is a choice between two possibilities dealing with the same subject.
Example: Jane is not sure whether she should change her job (or not).
"Or not" after "whether" is redundant.
Example: Incorrect: Jane is not sure whether John is making dinner tonight or not. Incorrect: Jane is not sure whether or not John is making dinner tonight. Correct: Jane is not sure whether John is making dinner tonight. _________________
Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).
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IF - Use "IF" for condition statement. WHETHER - Use "Whether" to show two possible alternatives.
How we will know whether to use "IF" or "Whether"?
A conditional statement can be reversed.
For example: If you prepare well for gmat, Then you will score 700 plus. You will score 700 plus, If you prepare well for GMAT. --> Makes sense. Hence usage of "IF" is correct here.
Example 2: Ram doesn't know WHETHER he will get a good score in GMAT. Ram doesn't know IF he will get a good score in GMAT.--> Replacing "Whether" with "If" IF he will get a good score in GMAT, then Ram doesn't know --> Reversing the order doesn't make sense. Hence usage of "Whether" is correct.
Use the reversing technique to determine whether to use "IF".