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 English Grammar for ESL learners 


Meaning and use in English.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whichever, whoever

If we add -ever to wh-words like what, which, when, where and who, we change their meaning to :
“it doesn’t matter”, or “no matter” what, which, when, where and who …

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whichever, whoever are used as follows :

  • Whatever = anything or everything; regardless of what, no matter what

    - Whatever you do, don't forget your grandmother's birthday.
    - Take whatever you want from the fridge of you're hungry.
    - Put that thing away whatever it is!
    - She won't listen to you whatever you say.

  • Whenever = every time; at any time; regardless of when, not matter when

    - You can borrow my dictionary whenever you like.
    - Whenever we plan a picnic it rains!
    - He interrupts me whenever I start to speak.
    - Whenever I open this cupboard something falls out!

  • Wherever = everywhere; regardless of where, no matter where

    - Wherever you go you'll always find someone who speaks English.
    - She'll be happy wherever she decides to live.
    - We'll go on holiday wherever you want to go - you choose!
    - My grandfather accompanies my grandmother wherever she goes.

  • Whichever = the person or thing which; regardless of which, no matter which

    - Wear whichever shoes are the most comfortable.
    - Take whichever one you want.
    - Choose whichever earrings you like - it's your birthday!
    - Take any book you like - whichever one interests you.

  • Whoever = the person who; regardless of who, no matter who

    - Whoever comes with you is welcome.
    - Whoever opened the gate didn't close it.
    - I don't want to talk to you, - whoever you are!
    - I'm so annoyed with whoever borrowed the dictionary and didn't put it back!

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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