When are “if” and “whether” equivalent?
Which one is the correct meaning of "Let me know if the problem persists."? Or is it ambiguous?
If the problem persists, let me know.
Let me know whether the problem persists or not.
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
In informal writing, "if" and "whether" are used interchangeably.¹ This is not recommended because it creates ambiguity, but it is an unfortunate fact. Consequently, the statement can mean either:
Let me know whether the problem persists.
Let me know (only) if the problem persists.