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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 4) 
Diamondrg
So using 'whom' in speech marks one as non-native? Can you say it is best to reserve it for 'writing'?

I would agree with JL. "Whom...?" is relatively rare in native speech, but by no means unknown. On the other hand, "whom" after a preposition is relatively common.

Misuse of "whom" and its derivatives is also not uncommon. The British MP Glenda Jackson is a notable offender, e.g.

'I wish to ask my hon. Friend the Minister a question, and I hope that she can reassure me. It would be good if the chairmen of the panels were independent, but whomsoever serves on them, it is important that someone must speak for patients and carers.' (Hansard, 14 Jan 2003)

(I've heard her do this on several occasions. I think she must rather like the sound of it.)

MrP
MrPedantic Misuse of "whom" and its derivatives is also not uncommon. The British MP Glenda Jackson is a notable offender, e.g.
Hey, I've been out of touch with her career lately. I didn't know the actress is an MP these days, but she is!Emotion: smile
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A couple of trivial and irrelevant things.

Hi anonymous person,

no , it didn't. in fact i think it's better to be more formal.Your remark seems ironic to me because of the complete lack of capitals. Was this deliberate? Did I just misread your joke? Emotion: wink

Hi MrP,

someone must speak for patients and carers. I don't think I've heard this word before. For a moment, I thught it was a misspelling of 'careers'. I know a 'caregiver' gives care. Does a 'carer' simply . . . care? Is this some new form of politically correct speech?

Best wishes, Clive
Hello Clive

Yes, a "carer" is someone who looks after e.g. an elderly or disabled person (often a relative), without pay. Apparently there are 6m or so in the UK, of which about 60% are women.

I think they were first named when they became a noticeably large group...

MrP
Although English is not my vernacular language, I believe that "whomever" is correct. For example, you give something to "someone." Someone cannot be nominative subject; whence "give this to "whomever" is correct.

Lesly Emotion: smile
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Lesly, thank you for trying to make a contribution on this, but I would suggest you read the preceding four pages of posts. You are correct that if it were simply "to someone" it would be "to whom." (You gave it to whom?) But that is not the construction in this case.

In any case, welcome to the forums!
AnonymousAlthough English is not my vernacular language, I believe that "whomever" is correct. For example, you give something to "someone." Someone cannot be nominative subject; whence "give this to "whomever" is correct.

Lesly Emotion: smile

Guest answered the question perfectly in the original post, Anon:


"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.
MrP


The title of salutatorian goes to whomever/whoever has the second highest academic average.

Whom/Who did you say this package was for?

The title of salutatorian goes to whoever (=anyone who) has the second highest academic average. Correct!

The title of salutatorian goes to whomever (=anyone whom) has the second highest academic average. Grammatically incorrect! But as commom as "Between you and I" .

Whom did you say this package was for? Whom was this package for? Both are grammatically correct but not common in ordinary usage.

Who did you say this package was for? Who was this package for? Both are correct and very common!
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MrPedanticYes, a "carer" is someone who looks after e.g. an elderly or disabled person (often a relative), without pay. Apparently there are 6m or so in the UK, of which about 60% are women.
Did you mean 6 million?
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