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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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advoca
There is an old joke passed around by teachers of grammar. Saint Peter in heaven heard a knock on the door. "Whose there?" he asked. "It is I," was the reply. "Heck!" said Saint Peter. "Another one of those damn grammar teachers."

Grammatically, it is correct to say, "It is I." But not one in a thousand says it. Most say, "It's me."

St. Peter must really hate to see the grammer teachers if he uses "whose" there!!!
Adobe have launched their new text editor Buzzword. Their Welcome to Buzzword document includes the sentence "
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AnonymousAdobe have launched their new text editor Buzzword. Their Welcome to Buzzword document includes the sentence "The owner can share the document with whomever she wishes." A pity they didn't read this forum.

And what's 'she' doing in this sentence?

That sentence is fine. "She" is the subject of the subordinate clause. The antecedent of "she" is "the owner". Also it's obvious whom is correct because it follows a preposition (always accusative, never nominative).
Though in some cases, "whoever" correctly follows a preposition:

1. She can share the document with whoever wants to read it.

(Here, the entire underlined phrase is the complement of "with", while "whoever" is the subject of "wants".)

MrP
That would be... who's there? ;-D
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Only the wind, Anon; and the mouse in the wainscot.
"Whoever" is correct. The indirect object of the verb in the main clause is the entire noun clause, not just the head of the clause.
Directly quoted from "Cliff's notes" (sorry for the long inset)

Pronoun case in subordinate clause

Who, whom, whoever, whomever. In deciding which case of who you should use in a clause, remember this important rule: The case of the pronoun is governed by the role it plays in its own clause, not by its relation to the rest of the sentence. Choosing the right case of pronoun can be especially confusing because the pronoun may appear to have more than one function. Look at the following sentence.

  • They gave the money to whoever presented the winning ticket.
At first, you may be tempted to think whomever rather than whoever should be the pronoun here, on the assumption that it is the object of the preposition to. But in fact the entire clause, not whoever, is the object of the preposition. Refer to the basic rule: The case should be based on the pronoun's role within its own clause. In this clause, whoever is the subject of the verbpresented. (A good way to determine the right pronoun case is to forget everything but the clause itself: whoever presented the winning ticket, yes; whomever presented the winning ticket,no.)
The following two sentences show more dramatically how you must focus on the clause rather than the complete sentence in choosing the right pronoun case.

  • We asked whomever we saw for a reaction to the play.

  • We asked whoever called us to call back later.
In each sentence the clause is the direct object of asked. But in the first sentence, whomever is correct because within its clause it is the object of saw, while in the second sentence, whoeveris correct because it is the subject of called.
Another method is to replace the pronoun with "the person who/the person whom".

If "the person who" fits, use "whoever" in the clause. If "the person whom" fits, you can use "whomever".

Best wishes,

MrP
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A very interesting thread!
I think that English is inconsistent here, because it doesn't match how you handle personal pronouns in a similar context.

Give the prize to whomever was chosen by the panel.
Give the prize to whoever deserves it most.

Give the prize to him who was chosen by the panel.
Give the prize to him who deserves it most.

Unlike the situation with whoever/whomever, you use the object pronoun "him" in both of these cases, ie you wouldn't say
Give the prize to he who deserves it most.
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