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    #1

    He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    "He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets."
    I know that "whoever" and "whomever" are both correct. But I want to know that which word is more commonly used in American and British English? Azar's grammar book says "whomever" is rare and extremely formal in American English, and you should use "whoever" (NOT whomever) when you need an object in British. Is that true? I think "whomever" is OK in British English. Am I right? Thanks!

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    In American English, whomever is more correct, and whoever is more common.

    Let's see what our UK friends say.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    Whomever is rare in AmE. When it does appear, it's likely to be in a place where only whoever would be correct.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Whomever is rare in AmE. When it does appear, it's likely to be in a place where only whoever would be correct.
    Yes, Z, GoesStation is making a joke but is exactly right. "Whomever" is correct standard American English, but it's not often used - and when it is, it's usually used incorrectly!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yes, Z, GoesStation is making a joke but is exactly right. "Whomever" is correct standard American English, but it's not often used - and when it is, it's usually used incorrectly!
    I wasn't making a joke, I was sharing an observation.

    My advice to students of English is: never use the word whomever. It has been replaced by whoever, which is correct anywhere an old reference book might say that only whomever​ is correct.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I wasn't making a joke, I was sharing an observation.

    My advice to students of English is: never use the word whomever. It has been replaced by whoever, which is correct anywhere an old reference book might say that only whomever​ is correct.
    Well, I laughed!

    If it's been decommissioned, I haven't seen the memo. I can still find it in print and online references. My dictionary calls it the objective case of whoever - whatever that means.

    But I absolutely agree that whoever is elbowing it out. It's going the way of the mullet. It sounds snooty, so your advice not to use it makes good sense.

    I like whoever better, too.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    .Whomever is very rare in BrE.

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    #8

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    How about this one?
    "The author *whom/who* you criticized in your review has written a reply." (Oxford)
    Between "whom" and "who", which word is more commonly used in such a case in British and American English?

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    #9

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    In formal writing, 'whom' is possibly more common.

    In informal writing and in speech, I suspect that most of us would use a zero relative.

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    #10

    Re: He makes friends easily with *whoever/whomever* he meets.

    I'd write whom,​ but I suspect I'm part of a very small AmE-speaking minority.
    I am not a teacher.

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