Whom vs. Whomever

It is rare to see whomever in daily English. But it is important to know the difference between 'whom' and 'whomever.'

"Whom" vs. "Whomever" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

The key difference between 'whom' and 'whomever' is that, 'whomever' is used as an emphatic objective pronoun. Also, 'whomever' cannot be used as an interrogative pronoun. However, we can use 'whom' to question the object that receives the action of a verb.


What They Refer to

  1. 'Whom' and 'whomever':

'Whomever' is mostly used as an emphatic objective pronoun. 'Whom' is used as an objective pronoun.

Whomever you call first when you are sad, is your real friend.

Whom you call first when you are sad, is your real friend.

Although both of the examples are correct, the first example is more emphatic. So it is better to use 'whomever' in these conditions.

Old-fashioned or Modern English

'Whom' and 'whomever' are considered traditional pronouns and are not commonly used in daily English. It is more common to face them in formal writing English not speaking English.

Who do you prefer to talk? → archaic ( Whom do you prefer to talk?)

Whoever you love, will appreciate your love one day. → archaic (Whomever you love, will appreciate your love one day.)

'Whom' and 'Whomever' as Interrogative Pronouns

  • 'Whom' and 'whomever':

Unlike 'whom', 'whomever' can never be used as an interrogative pronoun even if it is at the beginning of a sentence especially in American English.

Whom would you rather dance with? (Not "Whomever would you rather dance with?")

For whom are you baking the cake? (Not "For whomever are you baking the cake?")

Non-restrictive or Restrictive Clauses

  • 'Whom' and 'whomever':

Unlike 'whom', 'whomever' can just be used in restrictive clauses. 'Whom' can be used in restrictive or non-restrictive clauses.



  • 'Whom' and 'whomever':

both are used to refer to the object of the sentence, which means they refer to terms such as 'him', 'her', 'us', or other objects. We mean they are used for people not things.

I will marry whomever steps in the room first.

Chloe is whom I like to kill, right now.

Whom you trust the most stab you on the back one day.

He is to strong. He wins over whomever he wrestles.

Whom and Whomever as Relative Pronouns

  • 'Whom' and 'whomever':

are used as relative pronouns to connect clauses. Remember that you are not allowed to use whomever in non-restrictive clauses unlike 'whom' that can be used in both restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

The manager, whom I called last night, is too responsible.

The man whom you work with called.

Give the toys to whomever you like!


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