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When to Use "Who or Whoever"?

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

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.




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



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