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whichever ones

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:17 am
by navi
Which are correct:

1) Whichever of us get there first will talk to the manager.
2) Whichever ones of us get there first will talk to the manager.
3) Whoever of us get there first will talk to the manager.
4) Whichever ones get there first will talk to the manager.
5) Whichever get there first will talk to the manager.

The assumption is that more than one person will get there first. All the sentences are supposed to mean:
Those of us who get there first will talk to the manager.

Gratefully,
Navi

Re: whichever ones

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:53 pm
by Bobinwales
None of them work for me.
In fact, "Those of us who get there first will talk to the manager", is the only one that I am comfortable with.

Re: whichever ones

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:17 pm
by Erik_Kowal
Bob's suggestion is a good one.

The most concise way of putting it is "Whoever gets there first will talk to the manager," though this variant makes no assumptions about how many people will get there first: it could be one, or it could be 77.

Re: whichever ones

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:36 am
by navi
Thank you both very much,

Would any of them work in the singular:

1a) Whichever of us gets there first will talk to the manager.
2a) Whichever one of us gets there first will talk to the manager.
3a) Whoever of us gets there first will talk to the manager.
4a) Whichever one gets there first will talk to the manager.
5a) Whichever gets there first will talk to the manager.

Meaning: The one who gets there first will talk to the manager.

I suspect the 'meaning' sentence is good and the other ones aren't, but as I have already opened this can of worms, I might as well get to the bottom of it!!!

Gratefully and hoping I am not being too persistant,
Navi.

Re: whichever ones

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:51 pm
by Erik_Kowal
navi wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:36 am
Would any of them work in the singular:

1a) Whichever of us gets there first will talk to the manager.
Yes.

2a) Whichever one of us gets there first will talk to the manager.
Yes.

3a) Whoever of us gets there first will talk to the manager.
Yes — but this can be (and would be more elegant if) simplified to "Whoever gets there first will talk to the manager", if it's clear that whoever it is will be one of "us".

4a) Whichever one gets there first will talk to the manager.
Passable, but not very idiomatic without any reference to "us" (compare with 1a and 2a).

5a) Whichever gets there first will talk to the manager.
No.
They work better with the singular verb than with the plural one, probably because the default assumption is that the 'who' in 'whoever' is more likely to be a single individual than two or more people.