I came across this sentence in a text I was issued for a seminar: "Give the package to (whoever, whomever) comes to the door." The correct response was listed as "whomever."
The rationale for this was: substitute "he" or "him," as in "give the package to him." Therefore, in this sentence, "whomever" is correct.

I called a local community college that has a grammar hotline, and their response was that "whomever" was correct because it was the object of the proposition "to." I then asked the hotline person what function "comes to the door" served in this sentence, and she responded that it modified whomever!

Please, someone back me up here. "Whoever comes to the door" is a noun clause that is the object of the preposition "to," actually functioning as an indirect object in this sentence. Within the clause, the subject is "whoever." By virtue of the fact that it is the subject, it has to be in the nominative case - whoever, rather than whomever.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
What about this case:

There are several excellent candidates, and you can be sure that (whoever / whomever) is chosen by the selection committee will make an outstanding presentation.


At the conference, a scholarship prize is awarded to (whoever, whomever) makes the most compelling and convincing speech.

Does the use of the passive voice make a difference?
Hello Guest

In both cases, 'whoever' is grammatically correct:

1. ...whoever is chosen...

Here, 'whoever' is the subject of 'is'.

2. ...to whoever makes...

Here, 'whoever' is the subject of 'makes'.

As a previous poster has mentioned, you can test for case by substituting 'the person who/whom' for 'whoever/whomever' in such sentences.

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Thanks for the clarification. I am paying now for sleeping through grammar class.
You're correct!

Even though it's "give the package to him" - which would require a "whom". But "he" or "she" (whoever) is the subject of the verb comes. Therefore it's whoever
You are correct. Sadly, a community college hotline gave you the wrong answer. (This is what happens when schools no longer teach the diagramming of sentence structure.) "Give it to whoever comes to the door" is correct because "whoever" is the subject of the clause "whoever comes to the door."
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Just for kicks, what about this sentence? Whomever, or whoever ?

A paid vacation will go to ________ with the correct answer.


Just for kicks, what about this sentence? Whomever, or whoever ?

A paid vacation will go to ________ with the correct answer.

Neither sounds good to me. I'd say

A paid vacation will go to the person with the correct answer.

However, I'd also say A paid vacation will go to whoever has the correct answer.

(So, do I get a paid vacation?)

Best wishes, Clive
Ah Grasshopper, but you are wrong. The subject of the sentence is an understood [you] as in "[You] give the package to...". "Whomever" is, in fact, the object of the preposition "to". It goes like this: The subject is [You](understood), followed by the action verb "give" followed by the peposition "to", followed by the object of the preposition "whomever". And therefore, "comes to the door" (descriptive phrase) could actually be replaced with "is wearing a red bandanna" or "asks for it" or "likes to listen to Def Leppard". Try to reverse the sentence using "whomever comes to the store" as the subject and and yet retain the same meaning of the sentence. You can't do it! Because "whomever" is not the subject. Whomever is the recipient of (object of ) the action in the sentence. Now do you see? The hotline was correct.
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It's a shame to have to keep flogging this for the Anons who don't have a grammar book, but:

[You] -- understood Subject

Give -- Verb

the package -- Direct Object of give

to -- preposition

whoever comes to the door -- clause object of preposition. (whoever = S; comes = V; to the door = prepositional phrase as adverbial of direction)

to whoever comes to the door -- prepositional-phrase equivalent if Indirect Object.

To repeat Komountain, California Jim, Mr Pedantic and Clive: whoever, whether formal or informal, is correct grammar. Whomever is hypercorrection.

Everyone is free to use whichever s/he chooses, however.
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