Whatever- Whichever- Whenever- Wherever- However- Whoever

In our everyday communication, we frequently encounter a group of words that add a level of generality or uncertainty to the sentences we construct. These words are whateverwhicheverwheneverwhereverhowever, and whoever. They serve a special function in the English language, allowing us to denote flexibility or indifference concerning a decision or an outcome.

Whatever- Whichever- Whenever- Wherever- However- Whoever: Understanding the Basics 

Learn -ever with question words in English.

Whatever- Whichever- Whenever- Wherever- However- WhoeverPin

Whatever

Meaning: “Whatever” is used to refer to anything or everything that; no matter what.

Usage: “Whatever” can be used as a determiner, pronoun, or conjunction to indicate a lack of restriction in choice or type.

Examples:

  1. Determiner: You can choose whatever flavor of ice cream you want.
  2. Pronoun: Do whatever makes you happy.
  3. Conjunction: Whatever you decide, I’ll support you.

Whichever

Meaning: “Whichever” refers to any one from a limited set; no matter which.

Usage: “Whichever” is used as a determiner or pronoun to give options within a defined range.

Examples:

  1. Determiner: Choose whichever dress you like best.
  2. Pronoun: Whichever of these books you select is fine with me.

Whenever

Meaning: “Whenever” means at any time; on any occasion; no matter when.

Usage: “Whenever” is used as a conjunction or adverb to indicate any time or every time that an event occurs.

Examples:

  1. Conjunction: You can call me whenever you need help.
  2. Adverb: I’ll be ready to leave whenever.

Wherever

Meaning: “Wherever” means in or to whatever place; no matter where.

Usage: “Wherever” is used as a conjunction or adverb to indicate any place or every place that a situation applies.

Examples:

  1. Conjunction: You can sit wherever you like in the classroom.
  2. Adverb: Wherever you go, I will follow.

However

Meaning: “However” means in whatever way or manner; regardless of how.

Usage: “However” is used as an adverb to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously. It can also mean ‘to whatever extent’.

Examples:

  1. Adverb (contrasting): I wanted to buy the red dress; however, it was too expensive.
  2. Adverb (extent): However hard I try, I can’t seem to lose weight.

Whoever

Meaning: “Whoever” means no matter who; any person who.

Usage: “Whoever” is used as a pronoun to refer to anyone or to indicate that any person who does something or is a certain way is included in what is being said.

Examples:

  1. Pronoun: Whoever wins the race will receive a prize.
  2. Pronoun (in a clause): Give the package to whoever answers the door.

Exercises to Learn the Difference

Fill in the blanks with “whatever,” “whichever,” “whenever,” “wherever,” “however,” or “whoever” to correctly complete the sentences.

  1. You can choose __________ dessert you like best from the menu.
  2. __________ you decide to go on vacation, make sure to send me a postcard.
  3. __________ knocks on the door, can you please answer it?
  4. __________ happens, I’ll always be there for you.
  5. You can visit us __________ it’s convenient for you.
  6. __________ much it costs, I’m willing to pay for quality.
  7. She can handle __________ challenges that come her way.
  8. __________ wins the election will have a lot of work to do.
  9. Take __________ road you prefer; they both lead to the same destination.
  10. __________ you need help, don’t hesitate to ask.

Answer and Explanation 

  1. Answer: whichever
    • Explanation: “Whichever” is used to refer to a choice from a defined set of options.
  2. Answer: Wherever
    • Explanation: “Wherever” refers to any place without specifying a particular location.
  3. Answer: Whoever
    • Explanation: “Whoever” refers to any person without specifying who it might be.
  4. Answer: Whatever
    • Explanation: “Whatever” refers to any situation or event, regardless of what it might be.
  5. Answer: Whenever
    • Explanation: “Whenever” refers to any time that suits someone’s convenience.
  6. Answer: However
    • Explanation: “However” is used to indicate to any extent or degree.
  7. Answer: Whatever
    • Explanation: “Whatever” refers to any challenges, regardless of their nature.
  8. Answer: Whoever
    • Explanation: “Whoever” refers to any person who might win, without specifying an individual.
  9. Answer: Whichever
    • Explanation: “Whichever” indicates a choice between options (in this case, roads).
  10. Answer: Whenever
    • Explanation: “Whenever” indicates at any time that someone might need help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are ‘whatever,’ ‘whichever,’ ‘whenever,’ ‘wherever,’ ‘however,’ and ‘whoever’ called in English grammar?
These words are called ‘wh-words’ and are used to refer to unspecified items or times. They’re considered conjunctions or pronouns based on their role in a sentence.

How do we use ‘whatever’ in a sentence?
Whatever can mean ‘anything at all’ or ‘no matter what’. For example:

  • You can choose whatever color you like.

When do we use ‘whichever’?
Whichever is used when making a selection from a group or a list. For instance:

  • Select whichever dress is most comfortable.

Could you give us examples of how ‘whenever’ is used?
Whenever can mean ‘at any time’ or ‘every time that’. For example:

  • Call us whenever you need help.

In what contexts do we utilize ‘wherever’?
Wherever stands for ‘in any place’ or ‘where’. For example:

  • We’ll have a picnic wherever the weather is nice.

Can you explain the use of ‘however’?
However means ‘in whatever way’ or ‘to whatever extent’. It can also indicate a contrast when starting a sentence. For example:

  • Arrange the flowers however you like.
  • However, we need to consider the cost.

 

 

Last Updated on December 8, 2023

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