Weather, Whether, Wether

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What is the difference between wether, weather, and whether?

Wether, Weather, and Whether

The words wether, weather, and whether sound identical, but their meanings are very different.
wether weather whether

Wether

The word wether is most commonly seen as a misspelling for whether or weather. A wether is a castrated ram (a male sheep) or a castrated billy (a male goat).

Farmers will castrate their male goats or sheep to create wethers to ensure only the best male breeds with the females. Also of note, non-wethers (i.e., uncastrated males) show more aggression (to people and their young) and tend to stink (as non-wethers urinate on themselves during breeding season and have active glands that excrete an unpleasant scent).

From a grammatical perspective, the word wether is a noun. (More specifically, wether is a common noun and a gender-specific noun.)

Whether

The conjunction whether is similar to if. It is most often used to introduce an indirect question. (Provided the spelling is correct, whether is generally used correctly by native English speakers. The rules for using whether are covered in more detail in the lesson Whether and If.)

Examples:

Weather

As a noun, the word weather means the atmosphere in terms of temperature, wind, clouds, and precipitation. As a verb, to weather can mean to withstand or to endure(e.g., to weather an onslaught) or to erode (over time) (e.g., to weather the surface rock).

Examples:

A Quick Test

Did The Wether Survive?

If you can follow this sentence, you have a good grasp of weather, whether, and wether:
The farmer looked out the window and wondered whether the wether would weather the weather or whether the weather would kill the wether.


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See Also

Whether and if What are conjunctions? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words