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    #1

    who(m)ever I hire...

    "Who(m)ever I hire should follow the rules." I think "whomever" is correct, right ?

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    #2

    Re: who(m)ever I hire...

    Afraid not! 'Whoever' (nominative) is correct: the concessive pronoun is the subject of the verb 'should', with insertion of the contact clause 'I hire'.

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    #3

    Re: who(m)ever I hire...

    WARNING: NOT A TEACHER

    (1) An excellent teacher has given you and me the answer.

    (2) I should imagine that 99.99% of native-speaking teachers of English would agree

    with him.

    (3) Learners come to usingenglish.com because they want to speak modern English

    that is used in the real world. The teachers here teach you the English that is actually

    spoken in the year 2011.

    (4) In fact, Mr. Michael Swan in his highly reliable Practical English Usage (1995 edition)

    wrote these words: "whomever is not used in modern English." (page 623)


    (5) NEVERTHELESS, I agree with you. According to the rules of traditional English,

    you are 100% correct. The "correct" sentence should be: Whomever I hire + should

    follow + the rules.

    (a) I suspect that most non-native-speaking teachers of English (who have been

    schooled in traditional English grammar) would also agree with you.

    (b) If you want details explaining why I feel that you are correct, please answer this

    post, and I will be happy to give a lengthy explanation.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: who(m)ever I hire...

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Afraid not! 'Whoever' (nominative) is correct: the concessive pronoun is the subject of the verb 'should', with insertion of the contact clause 'I hire'.
    Surely ''who(m)ever' is the object of 'hire', and ''who(m)ever I hire' is the subject of 'should'?

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    #5

    Re: who(m)ever I hire...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Surely ''who(m)ever' is the object of 'hire', and ''who(m)ever I hire' is the subject of 'should'?
    You have made my day a second time! You are the man!

    P.S.

    Dear Birgit: 5jj has given you (and me) the explanation in only one sentence.

    Awesome!

    (No need for me to waste your time in giving a lengthy explanation. Congratulations, Birgit, for being correct!)

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    #6

    Re: who(m)ever I hire...

    It is correct, and Michael Swan may be slightly overstating it to say that whomever is not used nowadays, but it is so rare that whoever sounds much better to me. Even in sentences like Give it to whoever you see that tick a number of boxes for it, whomever would sound artificial to me.

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    #7

    Re: who(m)ever I hire...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Surely ''who(m)ever' is the object of 'hire', and ''who(m)ever I hire' is the subject of 'should'?
    On reflection, I am inclined to agree. I inadvertently treated the sentence as elliptical for

    Whoever it may be that I hire should follow the rules.

    hence my designation of "I hire" as a contact clause.

    However, as the sentence stands - and as unnatural it may well sound - objective-case 'whomever' is indeed justified here.

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