The words \u2018weather\u2019 and \u2018whether\u2019 sound alike, but they\u2019re spelled differently and have different meanings. To make sure you can use them correctly in your writing, then, check out our guide below.\r\nWeather (Atmospheric Conditions)\r\nMost commonly, \u2018weather\u2019 is a noun that refers to the atmospheric conditions outdoors. This includes things like temperature, wind speed, humidity, and precipitation (e.g. rain, snow):\r\nWe always go to the beach when the weather is hot.\r\nThe forecast says stormy weather is on the way.\r\nHowever, \u2018weather\u2019 can also be a verb. In this case, it refers to something being changed or worn away from exposure to the atmosphere:\r\nThe rocks were weathered from the constant pounding of the waves.\r\nOr it can have the more figurative meaning of \u2018survive difficult conditions\u2019:\r\nThe company pulled together and weathered the recession.\r\nAs both a noun and a verb, though, this word is spelled \u2018weather\u2019.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_45510" align="aligncenter" width="449"] Various forms of weather.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nWhether (Alternatives and Uncertainty)\r\n\u2018Whether\u2019\u00a0is a conjunction that indicates a choice between alternatives or uncertainty. When presenting two alternatives, we use it like this:\r\nHe asked whether they should go to dinner today or tomorrow.\r\nIn terms of uncertainty, we use \u2018whether\u2019 when referring to something we're unsure about. We can include \u2018or not\u2019 in this case, but this is optional:\r\n\u00a0It was hard to tell whether or not she was lying.\r\n\u00a0It was hard to tell whether she was lying.\r\nThese mean the same thing, but the 'or not' is implicit in the second version.\r\nIn addition, some people use the phrase \u2018whether or not\u2019 to imply that it isn\u2019t important which of two alternatives is true. For example:\r\nThe data will remain confidential whether or not the study is published.\r\nIn cases like this, the \u2018or not\u2019 is essential to the meaning!\r\nSummary: Weather or Whether?\r\nThese words might sound the same, but you won\u2019t want to confuse them in your writing. Remember the following difference:\r\n\r\n\tWeather is typically a noun that refers to outdoor conditions (e.g. sun, rain, wind), but it can also be a verb meaning \u2018wear down by exposure\u2019.\r\n\tWhether is a conjunction that expresses a choice between two alternatives or uncertainty over something.\r\n\r\nSince these words have very different roles \u2013 one is a naming word or an action word, and the other is a linking word \u2013 it should be easy to tell them apart. And as long as you remember that \u2018weather\u2019 is sun, rain, and other atmospheric conditions, you should be able to avoid errors!\r\nIf you would like any more help with your spelling or word choice, though, our team of expert proofreaders is available around the clock.