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Q: Is this sentence correct? (see image).

If so, how? I know that have on [something] would make sense, but have on whether ... or not? This, I'm not sure. Please someone explain this to me.

  • Whether is the wh-word used for embedding yes/no questions. Is he coming tonight? can be used as a subject or object clause: Whether he's coming tonight is the big question, or I don't know whether he's coming tonight. The "or not" can go at the end or the beginning; it's free, because there are only two answers to a yes/no question -- whether covers yes, and or not covers no -- if you want to mention it. If you do, it can go either place. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 15:01
  • As for have on, it is not involved in this sentence. Subject impact, verb phrase will have on + whether clause as object. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


whether is a conjunction that links two mutually exclusive possibilities.

Oxford Learners
used to express a doubt or choice between two possibilities
He seemed undecided whether to go or stay
It remains to be seen whether or not this idea can be put into practice
I'll see whether she's at home (= or not at home)

The linking creates a noun phrase of two possibilities. Which possibility becomes true depends on some external factor.

In the first two examples the possibilities are explicit. The determining factor is the way he decides (first example) or future developments (second example).

In the third example the second possibility is not stated but is implied; the result will be determined by a visit to the home.

In your example, whether names are written permanently or not is a noun phrase whose final meaning will only be determined by the effect of the program.

Either the names will be permanently written, or they will not. The program will determine which of these possibilities is realised.


The sentence is grammatical but decidedly awkward. It would be much better without "or not".

When a whether clause is used adverbially, it requires an or, but when a whether clause is used as a noun phrase, for example as the object of the preposition on, "or not" is generally superfluous.

In this particular paragraph, the whether clause acts as a question within a question, and "or not" distracts the reader from the intended overall meaning.

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