Weather or Whether: What's the Difference?

Get a memory trick to remember the spelling of "weather" and "whether."

Mignon Fogarty,

People often have trouble remembering which word is spelled "weather" and which word is spelled "whether." Here's my memory trick:

Weather (such as a storm) affects the sea, and "sea" is spelled with an "ea" just like "weather."

  • Weather affects the sea.

The other spelling ("whether") is a conjunction that introduces choices:

  • I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
  • Squiggly wasn't sure whether Aardvark would be able to make it to the party

Just remember the "sea" trick for "weather," and then you know that "whether," the conjunction, is the other spelling.

And here’s a final tidbit you’re unlikely to know already: "wether" is a real word too. It’s the name for a castrated ram. 

Quiz: 'Whether' or 'Weather'

Fill in the blank:

1. Check the ________________ before you leave for the airport.

2. I'm not sure ____________________ I want to buy tickets ahead of time.

3. The rainy __________________ is getting me down.

4. Have you heard the ________________ report today?

5. Do you know ________________ it is supposed to rain tomorrow?

6. _______________ Aardvark can make it to the party depends on the ___________________.


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