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I know "who" cannot be used in the sentence below in place of "whoever". Am I right?

1- Whoever wins will be expected to take the rest of us for a meal. (not who)

but what about the sentence below? Is it correct? If not, how can it be corrected?

2- I don't know who knows the truth.
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Comments  
You are right about the first sentence.
The second sentence is correct as it stands.

CJ
CalifJimYou are right about the first sentence.
The second sentence is correct as it stands.

CJ

but does "who" mean "the person who"? What is the difference between 1 and 2? If 2 is correct, why can't "who" be used in 1? and can we use "whoever" in 2 too?
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1 Whoever wins will be expected to take the rest of us for a meal.

2 I don't know who knows the truth.

whoever (fused relative pronoun equivalent to he who) has the semantic component no matter who it is or anyone who.

The first sentence means:

The person who wins, no matter who it is, will be expected to take the rest of us for a meal.
No matter who wins will be expected to take the rest of us for a meal.
Anyone who wins will be expected to take the rest of us for a meal.

Regarding the second sentence:

whoever is not used in an indirect question structure.
Indirect question structure:

Who knows the truth?
I don't know. I don't know who knows the truth.

This sentence is not saying I don't know anyone who knows the truth.

CJ
Another way of looking at it is that in
Whoever wins will be expected to ...
we are not committed to the existence of a particular winner at the moment of the utterance. The identity of the winner is assumed to be something that is to be determined in the future. In the present many possible persons are potentially the winner.

But in
I don't know who knows the truth.
we are committed to the existence of someone who knows the truth at the moment of the utterance. The identity of the knower of the truth is not known, but there is such a person. We just don't know which person it is. Here it is not a matter of waiting for some future event to reveal the identity of this knower of the truth.

CJ
CalifJimAnother way of looking at it is that in
Whoever wins will be expected to ...
we are not committed to the existence of a particular winner at the moment of the utterance. The identity of the winner is assumed to be something that is to be determined in the future. In the present many possible persons are potentially the winner.

But in
I don't know who knows the truth.
we are committed to the existence of someone who knows the truth at the moment of the utterance. The identity of the knower of the truth is not known, but there is such a person. We just don't know which person it is. Here it is not a matter of waiting for some future event to reveal the identity of this knower of the truth.

CJ

Thank you, Jim. Now I understand. But what is the grammatical classification of the sentences (1 and 2), both noun clauses? Last but not least, can we use "whoever" in 2, too?
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I'm not particulary good at giving the technical names of these structures. Sorry. I only know whoever as a fused relative serving the double function of subject in the main clause and subject in the secondary clause. And I only know the second structure as an indirect question formulation.

(I suspect that whoever wins is a noun clause formed from he who wins, where who wins by itself is an adjectival clause. who knows the truth is perhaps a noun clause too.)

I would say that whoever cannot be used in the second sentence. It has a very unnatural ring to it. I suspect, however, that someone on the Forum will know of some extremely unusual situation in which it could be used. Personally, I can't think of a situation like that.

CJ
I've found this:

- I'll take whoever wants to go. (Longman)

is it different from

- I don't know who knows the truth

?
You wrote,

The identity of the knower of the truth is not known, but there is such a person. We just don't now which person it is.

Here, the word it refers to the identity of the person, so you used it instead of he or she. Right or wrong.
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