Nível Fluente › World Health Day

Dialog: "whether it be in improving the national policy in controlling the disease, stepping up our presence in the multilateral forums, or in assuming new responsibilities in support of poorer nations."

"If" and "whether" are words that when used in informal speech and writing are often used interchangeably. However there are distinctions between the two. "If" is used to talk about an idea that is conditional, whereas "whether" is used to talk about an alternative or possibility. In the above quote by the Brazilian Health Minister various possibilities to help fight tuberculosis.

1) IF

  • If you want to get ahead in your career, be prepared to work long nights. (condition: to do well in your career you must work hard)
  • You need to be aware of the trends if you want to make it in the fashion industry. (condition: to do work in the fashion industry you need to know about fashion trends)


  • We're trying to decide whether we should spend our holidays in the Alps or on the Riviera. (there are two possibilities)
  • It doesn't matter whether I punish my dog or not, he still destroys my shoes. (there is an alternative to punish or not to punish)

Note that we use "whether" instead of "if" after a preposition and before a to + infinitive:

  • We argued about whether it's too early for our daughter to date.
  • Rachel couldn't decide whether to go out with her friends or stay in with her boyfriend.


Sobre esta aula

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 2 billion people have been exposed to the tuberculosis pathogen. It's a disease that primarily effects populations in developing countries. In today's lesson commemorating World Health Day, you'll learn about the role Brazil has played in helping to combat this infectious disease.

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