The Grammar Rules for ‘Let’s’ and ‘Whoever’

By Irina Ghazazyan

Let’s – Let us
The grammar rule for ‘Let us’ and ‘Let’s’ is that ‘Let’ is followed by objective pronouns, ‘me’, ‘you’, ‘him’, ‘her’, ‘it’ ‘us’, ‘them’ which are followed by an ‘implied infinitive’, i.e. infinitive without ‘to’ as in the example ‘Let it be as you wish.’
‘Let’s’ is not perceived as what most grammarians say it is -‘the imperative structure, rather it is used to express a request, a proposal or a command and even resigned acceptance of the inevitable, as in ‘Let the worst happen.’
Besides errors of case ‘Let’s’ encourages other errors too, such as colloquial ‘Let’s you and me reconcile and make up for the time wasted.’ ‘Let’s you and me’ is redundant, instead you should use ‘Let’s reconcile’. ‘Let’s you and me’ is not correct and should not be used in any situation other than casual speech.

 Whoever – Whomever
‘Whoever’, unlike other pronouns, can function as the subject of one verb and the object of another, as in ‘I will invite whoever wants to come.’ In this sentence ‘whoever’ is the subject of wants and the object of invite. To be more precise, it is not ‘whoever’ but the whole clause ‘whoever wants to come’ which is the object of ‘invite’. Another similar example is ‘There will be a prize for whoever draws the lucky number.’
‘Whomever’ can function as the object of verbs in two clauses, as in ‘I will invite whomever you choose.’, or as the subject of a verb and the object of a preposition, as in ‘Whomever we send invitations to is sure to come.’ In speech, occasional errors are almost inevitable, because the role of the pronoun can be complicated, as in ‘This invitation is for whoever that is you’re with.’ Here the temptation is strong to make it ‘whomever’ as the object of ‘for’ or the object of ‘with’. As the examples here show, the form of the pronoun – whether it is the subjective ‘whoever’ or the objective ‘whomever’ – is determined by the role it plays in its own clause, which is the clause that completes its meaning.

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