There are several words in the English language that can be easily confused. Two of these are weather and whether. To learn the differences between these terms, begin first by learning what makes them so similar.
To avoid making mistakes when using these two words, begin first by learning their meanings and their parts of speech.
The term weather can be a noun or a verb. When weather is a noun, it refers to climate. Weather refers to conditions like:
Here are two sample sentences in which weather is used as a noun.
When weather is a verb, it means to withstand something. While this usage is not as common as the noun form, sample sentences might look like this:
Unlike weather, the term whether is not a noun or verb, but rather is a conjunction, which joins two words or phrases together. The term whether is similar in meaning to the word “if” and links together two possible choices. Here are a few sample sentences using the term whether:
Homographs are words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings. Homographs may or may not be pronounced the same. The words “bow” meaning to bend down as a sign of appreciation or respect, or “bow,” a decorative knot. These words are spelled the same, but have different pronunciations, so they are by definition homographs.
Homophones are words that sound the same, but may have different spellings and meanings. The terms weather vs. whether fall under the category of homophones. They are pronounced the same, but have different spellings and different definitions.
To learn the difference between these homophones, first memorize the definitions and parts of speech as above. Then, begin by practicing their usage in both written and oral sentences. Write several sentences using just the word weather as a noun, then as a verb. Then write several sentences using the word whether, and then try your hand at writing sentences with both words in one sentence.
You can even have others test you on their meanings. For example, they can read you a sentence utilizing weather, and you have to tell them which homophone is being used in that particular sentence.
In addition to weather vs whether, there are various other homophones in English, including:
Whenever you are dealing with homophones, remember these important steps to help you avoid using the wrong terms in your writing.
And, if you get stuck, remember you can always consult with a dictionary to help you differentiate between homophones. These words may be confusing, but at least there is a source to help you sort it all out!