Whether or Not Exercise (68)

Choose the sentence from each pair below that correctly includes or omits "or not" after whether.

    1.
    She wanted to know whether or not I was going.
    She wanted to know whether I was going.

    2.
    I’m in trouble whether I confess or not.
    I’m in trouble whether I confess.

    3.
    Military observers have long argued over whether or not such studies are wastes of taxpayers’ money.
    Military observers have long argued over whether such studies are wastes of taxpayers’ money.

    4.
    Whether the plan will succeed or not remains to be seen.
    Whether the plan will succeed remains to be seen.

    5.
    It won’t be easy, regardless of whether the allegations are true or not.
    It won’t be easy, whether the allegations are true or not.

Answers and Explanations

1. She wanted to know whether I was going.
This sentence already implies a choice, so "or not" is redundant.

2. I’m in trouble whether I confess or not.
This sentence uses whether in the sense of "regardless," so the choice must be explicitly offered by including "or not." However, the statement is more elegantly organized with "or not" immediately following whether: "I’m in trouble whether or not I confess."

3. Military observers have long argued over whether such studies are wastes of taxpayers’ money.
As in the first example in this set of exercises, "or not" is already implied.

4. Whether the plan will succeed remains to be seen.
Here, the reference to a choice of success or failure makes "or not" superfluous.

5. It won’t be easy, whether the allegations are true or not.
This sentence uses whether in the sense of regardless, but it also includes regardless, which is redundant to "or not," so one or the other should be omitted.

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