Whoever vs. whomever: a clarification

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philo2009

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I was slightly concerned to note recently, with regard to a now closed thread, that no clear rebuttal or correction was made by any moderator to the following answer concerning the choice between

Tell it to whoever lost the book.


and

Tell it to whomever lost the book. :

But the computer, as I mentioned, parses linearly, which is its major downfall because Human languages are not linear. The correct sentence is,
Tell it to whomever lost the book.

I should therefore like to make clear here and now to any learners struggling with this problem that the form of the pronoun in a concessive relative clause in English is governed entirely by its function within that clause. Here it stands as subject of the verb 'lost' and, as such, must be nominative in form, thus 'whoever', NOT 'whomever'.

Cf. a genuine case for the objective form, e.g.

You may give it to whomever you choose.

where 'whomever' functions as the object of 'choose'.

It would appear that the poster of the above-cited twaddle requires a few basic lessons in sentence-parsing himself!




 

philo2009

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No doubt.
But while it exists, I suggest we use it correctly!

EOC
 

Barb_D

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I love how you think "EOC" just ends a discussion for everyone involved.

As you can clearly see in the thread I referenced, we do try to show how to use it correctly.
 
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Tdol

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Rowing back, if you want a thread re-opening, just ask one of us. Threads are automatically shut after a period to give spammers and advertisers less scope for unwanted posting.
 

5jj

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I love how you think "EOC" just ends a discussion for everyone involved.
I always assumed that philo's real name was something like Ethelfrith Oliver Curme, and that he occasionally signed his posts with his initials.
 

BobK

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I'm working on that anagram... ;-)

b
 
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