Whoever vs. Whomever Revisited



In the “English Rules” section of our website, GrammarBook.com, you will find our simple explanation for determining whether to use who or whom.

Briefly, this is the trick:
who = he (subject pronouns)
whom = him (object pronouns)

Example: Who/Whom is at the door?
He is at the door.

Example: For who/whom should I vote?
Should I vote for him?

To determine whether to use whoever or whomever,  the he/him trick still applies:
he (subject case) = whoever
him (object case) = whomever

Rule 1: In the objective case, the use of whoever or whomever is determined by the pronoun’s position in the object.

Examples:
Give it to whoever/whomever asks for it first.
Whoever is correct because it is the subject of the independent clause whoever asks for it first. This entire independent clause is the object of the preposition to.

We will hire whoever/whomever you recommend.
Whomever is correct because it is the object of you recommend. The independent clause whomever you recommend is the direct object of will hire.

We will hire whoever/whomever is most qualified.
Whoever is correct because it is the subject of the independent clause whoever is most qualified. This entire independent clause is the direct object of will hire.

 

Rule 2: In the subjective case, the use of whoever or whomever is determined by the pronoun’s position in the subject.

Examples:
Whoever/Whomever is elected will serve a four-year term.
Whoever is correct because it is the subject of the independent clause Whoever is elected, which is the subject of the sentence.

Whoever/Whomever you elect will serve a four-year term.
Whomever is correct because it is the object of you elect. Whomever you elect is the subject of the sentence.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Omar will talk about his girlfriend with whoever/whomever asks him.
  2. Kimiko donates her time to whoever/whomever needs it most.
  3. Quinton will work on the project with whoever/whomever you suggest.
  4. Whoever/Whomever wins the lottery will become a millionaire.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

  1. Omar will talk about his girlfriend with whoever asks him.
  2. Kimiko donates her time to whoever needs it most.
  3. Quinton will work on the project with whomever you suggest.
  4. Whoever wins the lottery will become a millionaire.

Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 7:15 pm

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