Whoever or Whomever?
The Quick AnswerWhoever (just like he) is the subject of a verb.
- Whoever finds me wins a cake. (Whoever is the subject of finds.)
- Whomever I find loses a cake. (Whomever is the direct object of I find.)
What Is the Difference Between Whoever and Whomever?Writers are often unsure whether to use whoever or whomever. Here's the quick answer: Don't be confused. They are just like he and him, which you no doubt use correctly without much thought.
Examples of Whoever or WhomeverHere are some examples of sentences with whoever or whomever:
- Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping. (Bo Derek) (Here, Whoever said money can't buy happiness could be replaced with He said money can't buy happiness. It could not be replaced with Him said money can't buy happiness. Therefore, whomever would be wrong.)
- Whoever controls the media and the images, controls the culture. (Allen Ginsberg) (Here, Whoever controls the media could be replaced with He controls the media. It could not be replaced with Him controls the media. Therefore, whomever would be wrong.)
- Give it to whomever you think will use it most wisely. (Here, Give it to whomever could be replaced with Give it to him. It could not be replaced with Give it to he. Therefore, whoever would be wrong.)
Whomever is Not Posher Than WhoeverDon't use whomever because you think it makes you sound more educated. (You can only use whomever when it's an object, i.e., not the subject of a verb.)
Whoever is the Subject of a Verb. Whomever is an ObjectWhoever is to he as whomever is to him.
Whoever and he are always the subjects of verbs, but whomever and him are always the objects of verbs or the objects of prepositions.