“It depends on whether he's truly remorseful or just saying that to get back in your good graces.”

English Lesson: It depends on whether he's truly remorseful or just saying that to get back in your good graces.

Your sister's husband hit her when they got into an argument. She left him, but now he's apologized sincerely. She asks for your advice on whether to forgive him. This is your answer.

It depends on whether he's truly remorseful or just saying that to get back in your good graces.

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whether (clause)

"Whether" is similar to "if". You can use them in the same way:

I'm trying to decide whether I should take my laptop.

I'm trying to decide if I should take my laptop.

You might choose to use "whether" instead of "if" just because of the sound. "Whether I" sounds easier to pronounce than "if I".

In written English, you should follow "whether" with "...or not":

I'm trying to decide whether I should take my laptop or not.

You can also use "...or not" in spoken English, but you should put it right after "whether":

I'm trying to decide whether or not to take my laptop.

It depends (on something).

When someone asks you a question, and you're not sure of the answer, you can say "It depends." This phrase means that you can't answer until you know more information. In the example above, you can't answer the question, "Do you want some breakfast?" until you know what your mother is cooking.

You tell what information you need to know in order to make the decision using "depends on ___":

It depends on what you're making.

You can also just say "It depends." and then ask a question:

A: Do you want to come?

B: It depends. Who else is going?

(someone) is remorseful

Being "remoseful" means feeling sorry for something that you did.

The word "remorseful" is more formal than "sorry". You can use it when you really want to let listeners know that you feel bad about something that you did, in a formal situation. For example, a lawyer might say this in a courtroom during a trial:

My client is truly remorseful for his actions.

The noun version of "remorseful" is "remorse":

Do you have any feelings of regret or remorse about what happened?

get in (someone's) good graces

Being in someone's "good graces" means that that person is not angry or upset at you.

Most often, people try to "get in the good graces" of someone like:

  • their boss
  • their wife
  • a king or queen

You can also use the phrase "get back in ___'s good graces" to talk about getting someone who's angry to stop being angry:

I need to do something to get back in my mother-in-law's good graces.