firstly example: She asked if the final was hard

What does if mean in this sentence ? And how this sentence meanening question ?

1 Answer 1


A purist may object that your example is not good English. I will not go so far: it is a very common locution in American speech and informal writing (and perhaps in other variants of English that I do not know well).

The meaning is that "She asked, 'Was the final hard.'" Questions of this "yes/no" type are frequently expressed in indirect speech as being introduced by "if." I prefer, particularly in more formal writing, to use "whether" rather than "if." That is, I would probably write, "She asked whether the final was hard."

  • 6
    if is used (asked if...) in plenty of formal contexts in both BrE and AmE and has been used for hundreds of years. I don't know where this if / whether thing originated.
    – TimR
    Oct 2, 2018 at 20:15

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