I think who/whoever was responsible for our failure should be fired

Dorpje

Member
Spanish Spain
Hello everyone,

My gut feeling tells me that 'who' in the sentence above is not correct, but I can't quite put my finger on it. The same goes for the sentence below.

— John said he would team up with who/whoever was up to the challenge.

Can anybody explain why 'who' might not be the best choice here? Is there a rule about this?

btw, I'm not interested to know about whom/whomever.

Thank you
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I agree that "whoever" is the best choice in both those sentences. :)

    I think whoever was responsible for our failure should be fired (whoever = the unknown person who...).
    John said he would team up with whoever was up to the challenge (whoever = any person who...).

    [cross-posted]
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Unusually, 'who' can't be used in this position. 'What' and 'where' can: John said he would do what we wanted. He said he would go where we told him to.
     
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