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    #1

    Looking for clarification on WHY regarding usage of who/whom.

    Hello UE Teachers,

    I am looking for an explanation as to the WHY on a particular grammar topic.

    The following portion of a sentence was used in a written discussion recently:

    "To whomever keeps leaving me these affirmation post it notes on my desk..."

    I edited this to read:
    "To whoever keeps leaving me these affirmation Post-It notes on my desk..."

    It is my understanding that "whoever" is the correct usage here because you are addressing the subject of the sentence (the person leaving the notes), not the object (the notes that are being left).

    I have been told by another that since “whomever” is preceded by a preposition, (in this case, "to") the use of "whomever" is correct. This person is telling me that the subject is implied in this case. It has always been my understanding that an implied subject is one in which the subject of the sentence is not named. Example: Hope this helps! Who hopes it helps? I hope it helps. “I” am the subject. Since I am not named in the sentence it is an example of a sentence with an implied subject.

    Will someone please clarify the correct usage in the initial sentence examples as well as explain WHY that is the case in an educational manner?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance!

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Looking for clarification on WHY regarding usage of who/whom.

    You are correct. When who'whom follows a preposition as a prepositional object, it should be "whom". In your case "Whoever" is the subject of a clause and it needs to be in the nominative case.

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