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"Whoever" vs. "whosoever"

 
 
shua
 
Reply Wed 26 Mar, 2014 12:16 pm
Are these two words synonymous, or are there certain occasions when one should use "whosoever" over "whoever."
Thanks
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,205 • Replies: 5
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contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 Mar, 2014 12:58 pm
@shua,
They are synonymous, however 'whosoever' is extremely archaic. literary and formal, and very rarely, if ever, used in modern English. It is usually seen in material such as old translations of the Christian Bible and literature from 200 years ago and before, and the only time when its use is required is when quoting directly from such material. If you want a rule, then it would be "don't use whosoever unless you have to"

shua
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Mar, 2014 08:30 pm
@shua,
I'm assuming this applies to "whomsoever" as well. It's interesting that "whatsoever" instead of "whatever" is still used somewhat commonly.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Mar, 2014 11:57 pm
@contrex,
After looking thru a number of dictionaries the consensus seems to lean to an emphatic/formal whoever. Only one called it "an older form of whoever". I don't feel it is archaic.

I'll try to remember to do a corpus search later.
anonymously99
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2014 12:15 am
@JTT,
John 3:16

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2014 07:57 am
@JTT,
I wrote: After looking thru a number of dictionaries the consensus seems to lean to an emphatic/formal whoever. Only one called it "an older form of whoever". I don't feel it is archaic.

The underlined "whoever" should have been 'whoSOever'.
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