Can "whichever" be used for people?
In school education, I believe you should vote for .......... can help you the most.
Unfortunately, the correct answer is "whoever", which doesn't appear in your list!
Where the relative pronoun "who(m)ever" acts as both the object in one clause, and the subject in another, you use "whoever"; where it acts as the object in both clauses, you can use "whomever", e.g.
1. I'll vote for whoever is willing to offer a substantial bribe.
— here, you need a subject for "is willing"; thus "whoever".
2. I'll vote for whomever you prefer.
— here, the relative pronoun is the object of "for" and the object of "prefer"; thus "whomever".
However, "whomever" is extremely rare in current English; the tendency is to use "whoever" even in sentences of the #2 kind.
Thank you MrP. I can rewrite "whoever" version this way:
- In school education, I believe you should vote for anyone who (=whoever) can help you the most.
Now, can "whomever" version be rewritten the same way as "whoever" version? If not, and if "whomever" is also possible, can you rephrase it, please?
Sorry for the late reply – I missed this yesterday, somehow!
"Whomever" can be rewritten as "anyone whom". This brings out the incorrectness of the original:
1. ???In school education, I believe you should vote for whomever can help you the most.
2. ???In school education, I believe you should vote for anyone whom can help you the most.
Probably the easiest way of checking whether it should be "whoever" or "whomever" in sentences of this kind is to substitute "anyone who" and "anyone whom" respectively.
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