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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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April 11, 2013

Comments

Stephanie G

Thank you! Great explanation of two words I frequently feel unsure about. I feel much more confident after reading this post!

George Raymond

The quiz solidified my grasp.

Liz

Great timing as I was thinking about this the other day!

PhilEH

Got 9 of 10 on this quiz. Missed #8, the "We will interview" threw me off as to the subject / object.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks for your comments, Stephanie, George, Liz, and Phil. I am glad you found the quiz and explanations helpful.

Lynn

Tushar Jain

thank you !

sheri

hi, thank you for the explanatory lesson of english writing/speaking. I have been studying and studying this subject for over a week now.......and i only got three right on your test......I am not sure what it is i am not getting.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..do you send newsletters to emails? thank you

sheri

oops............rechecked...."lesson "On" english writing/speaking. :)

sheri

grrrrrrrrrrr...."I only had 3 right out of ten questions."

someone

thx

Shiggity

Once again, the article hedges the examples. How about this? "Whoever/whomever I'm chastising for using only simple examples needs to learn the mastery of the language." It's an object--but is it not also a subject? Or--interesting--is the entire *clause* a subject? What happens when the folks who aced your quiz find this example down the road in real life? ;)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Shiggity, your example presents the same challenge as the "simple" test items 1, 3, and 7. But the test items aren't snarky.

Lynn

Dorothy Hale

A headline in our daily newspaper reads:
"Major statewide businesses must work with whomever's in power"
Is this correct? I think whoever sounds better.
Thanks for your advice.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Dorothy, you are right. "Whoever" is correct as the subject of the verb "is."

Lynn

Jeff

"Whoever/whomever I'm chastising for using only simple examples needs to learn the mastery of the language."

I agree with Lynn, this is a simple example, nothing tricky or new here. "Whomever" is the object of the verb "chastising."

The subject of the sentence is the entire dependent clause, "Whomever I'm chastising for using only simple examples."

This is high school grammar.

Great job on this article, Lynn. I recently engaged in a debate on who/whom and found that most people have absolutely NO clue how to determine the correct usage. If they see a preposition, it's automatically "whom" no matter what the function. Frustrating, the ignorance!

Jeff

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate your positive feedback.

Lynn

Ale

Thank you so very much!!!! :)

Helen K.

If you are addressing a memo to an unknown member of a group, would the proper syntax be "To whoever used the last of the milk" or "To whomever used the last of the milk?" A co-worker and I are disagreeing on this one.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Helen,

"Whoever used the last of the milk" is correct. The verb "used" needs a subject.

Lynn

Helen K.

Thank you, Lynn. I love it when I'm right. ;-)

Liz

I'm still unsure as to which term is correct although my 'ear' suggests it should read: Whoever I spoke with, they were all polite. Yet this is what I received: Whomever I talked to was so polite.
Your help would be much appreciated.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Liz,

"Whomever I talked to" is correct. "Whomever" is the object of the preposition "to": I talked to whomever.

It's not always helpful to go with what your ear suggests.

Lynn

Jamie

To whoever put the sign...or To whomever put the sign....? I think whoever is correct, as the verb put needs a subject. This was on a post, three people thought it necessary to comment "whomever" as a grammar correction. I'm not so sure. Thanks.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Jamie,

You are correct. "Put the sign" needs a subject pronoun.

Lynn

Nancy Madson

He will be happy to work with whoever has that responsibility next, in order to get the information on-line.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Nancy, your "whoever" is correct.

Lynn

Emteacher

Lynn,

I'm a little confused about the subject complement with linking verbs part of your explanation of "whoever." I think that's why the answer to #10 is "whoever," but to me, it looks a lot like the other example you have that reads "Whomever Human Resources recommends as a consultant, we will still need to interview him or her." I don't understand why it's different with linking verbs. If it's a subject complement, does that mean "whoever" is acting as an adjective?

Thanks for the great lesson. I look forward to your response.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

As you note, in Number 10 "who" is a subject complement. "Whoever she is" is essentially the same as "She is whoever." Compare this example with the traditional "It is he" / "He is it." They are pronouns, not adjectives.

In your example below, "whomever" is a direct object, similar to "HR recommends him as a consultant."

"Whomever Human Resources recommends as a consultant, we will still need to interview him or her."

I hope those examples are helpful.

Lynn

lightplay

Hi there, is this correct? Any why?

"Feel free to forward this around – to whomever is in the office that day"

Thank you.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Nope, it's wrong. "Is in the office that day" needs a subject, "whoever."

Lynn

Phil

Hi there, is this correct?

"Please forward to whoever should attend"

thank you

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Yes, it's correct. "Should attend" needs a subject form.

Lynn

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