GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

 It is currently 07 Dec 2019, 12:04

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Whether vs Whether or not

Author Message
Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 255
Whether vs Whether or not  [#permalink]

Show Tags

17 Jul 2008, 23:51
1
Could one you please point out the rules pertaining to the usage of Whether or not.

Whether is preferred over IF in gmat. ALso , whether is preferred when contemplating between two alternatives, but what's the deal with Whether or Not.

Thanks ALL
Director
Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Posts: 715
Location: United States (CA)
Age: 40
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
Whether vs Whether or not  [#permalink]

Show Tags

Updated on: 16 Sep 2019, 13:45
12
1
You're correct, whether is preferred typically on the GMAT.

If is mainly used in the subjunctive mood.

Whether is preferred over whether or not, as the "or not" is redundant-- whether implicity implies (heh) that it's either yes or no, if you think about it, whether or not literally means "yes or no or no".

The "or not" portion of "whether or not" is often unnecessary and can be removed, but sometimes it is essential. Here's the trick: "Whether or not" should be used when one's response is the same, regardless of the outcome. Conversely, "whether" should be used by itself to indicate only that the outcome itself is undetermined.

Think of the expression that children use when playing hide-and-seek: "Ready or not, here I come!" Without the "or not," it would have an entirely different meaning.

For example:

"I am not sure whether or not I can attend" / "I am not sure whether I can attend or not" could be shortened to read "I am not sure whether I can attend". In these cases, the "or not" can be safely removed.

However,

"I will be there whether or not I am prepared" / "I will be there whether I am prepared or not" cannot be shortened to read "I will be there whether I am prepared".

Please let me know whether this explanation is understandable. Whether or not I succeed at explaining these concepts, I will keep trying. ; )
_________________
Harvard grad and 99% GMAT scorer, offering expert, private GMAT tutoring and coaching worldwide since 2002.

One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V.

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y7knw7bt Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

GMAT Action Plan and Free E-Book - McElroy Tutoring

Contact: mcelroy@post.harvard.edu (I do not respond to PMs on GMAT Club) or find me on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/GMATpreparation

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 13 Jul 2016, 10:01.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 16 Sep 2019, 13:45, edited 4 times in total.
General Discussion
Senior Manager
Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 429
Re: Whether vs Whether or not  [#permalink]

Show Tags

17 Jul 2008, 23:59
1
You're correct, whether is preferred typically on the GMAT.

If is mainly used in the subjunctive mood.

Whether is preferred over whether or not, as the "or not" is redundant-- whether implicity implies (heh) that it's either yes or no, if you think about it, whether or not literally means "yes or no or no".
SVP
Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 2273
Location: New York, NY
Re: Whether vs Whether or not  [#permalink]

Show Tags

25 Jul 2016, 13:35
1
Agree with the above. Just a quick note that you will more likely see questions that test "if" vs "whether" -- rather than "whether" vs "whether or not" --- so with "if" vs "whether" -- the answer is almost always "whether" when talking about two conditional possibilities.
Non-Human User
Joined: 01 Oct 2013
Posts: 7182
Re: Whether vs Whether or not  [#permalink]

Show Tags

11 Aug 2019, 04:03
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Whether vs Whether or not   [#permalink] 11 Aug 2019, 04:03
Display posts from previous: Sort by