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I'm probably not the first person to get the "whoever/whomever" thing confused. Please see the sentence below. Do I use "whoever" or "whomever"? I think it should be "whoever" but I just want to be sure. A little help and an explanation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Here's the sentence:

For single participants, the beneficiary is "whoever/whomever" is designated by the participant on the Beneficiary Designation Form
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Comments  
Hello T2, welcome to English Forums!

Yes, 'whoever' is correct.

It is the subject of the verb 'is designated', so it has to be 'whoever'.

You can test it by exchanging it for 'the person who':

"...the beneficiary is the person who is designated by the participant..."

MrP
Hi,

the little test you suggested to know if 'whoever' is appropriate in a sentence is very useful !
Do you know another trick/example to be sure when to use 'whomever'?

Thx
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Hello Gniagnia

You could say that if the previous test doesn't work, it must be 'whomever'. Or you could see if the sentence 'tests positively' for 'whomever' by substituting 'the person whom':

1. It belongs to whomever it belongs to.

Substitute 'the person whom':

2. It belongs to the person whom it belongs to.

Which =

3. It belongs to the person to whom it belongs.

Which is fine; so 'whomever' is fine.

Or another example, without a preposition:

4. Send this letter to whomever it may concern.

Substitute 'the person whom':

5. Send this letter to the person whom it may concern.

Again, fine: 'whom' is the object of 'concern'.

MrP
Thank you!!
hi there everyone....

i was just thinking is there any wrong by using this phrase to address a person?
To whosoever it may concern,
...bla...bla...bla...bla....
someone actually approach me and saying that what i used is wrong.
But as far as I am concerned, this is the most formal way, am I not correct?

thanks..
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Hello Anon

The most formal way would be:


"To whomsoever it may concern"
Or simply,


"To whomever it may concern"
MrP
Thanks a lot for the test you suggested.
It helps,it actually does.
Huuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh !!
AnonymousThanks a lot for the test you suggested.
It helps,it actually does.
Huuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh !!
Phew! And so few things do.

Have a good weekend, Anon.

MrP
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