• Ashan R. Hampton

When to Use "Who or Whoever"?

Updated: Feb 26


When to Use "Who or Whoever" in English grammar

Use who or whoever if you can substitute the following pronouns for the “who” phrase: he, she, they, I, we. These nominative pronouns function as subjects. The substitution test takes a statement and turns it into a question (or vice versa) to determine the correct usage.


Difference Between Who and Whoever


Examples of who vs. whoever:

1. Who is waiting?


Substitution phrase:He / She is waiting.

2. Who did they say was chosen?


Substitution phrase:He / She / I was chosen.


3. The job goes to whoever answers the ad first.


Who answers the ad first?


Substitution phrase:He / She answers the ad first.


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Excerpt from the book Grammar Essentials for Proofreading, Copyediting & Business Writing Chapter 8: Common Usage Errors.


Ashan R. Hampton is a long-time English instructor turned entrepreneur. She is also a proud graduate of the Donaghey Scholars Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock under the direction of Dr. C. Earl Ramsey, Emeritus. Through her company, Onyx Online Education & Training, she offers online writing courses and print books for academic and professional development to individuals and corporations. She is also a prolific published author of several books on a variety of topics. To find out more about Ashan's work, visit www.arhampton.com.

 

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