The conjunction whenever means ‘every time that’ or ‘any time that’.
We often use whenever with the present simple:
- Our dog barks whenever someone walks by our house. [= every time someone walks by]
- He gets depressed whenever it’s cold and dark. [= every time it’s cold]
We can also use whenever with the past simple:
- Whenever David thought of her, he pictured her in a long dress. [= every time he thought of her]
- Whenever I saw him, he was always carrying a plastic shopping bag. [= every time I saw him]
- The school was closed whenever it snowed heavily. [= every time it snowed]
We also say whenever possible:
- I try to eat healthily whenever possible. [= when I can]
- Whenever possible, parents should check their children’s homework.
Whenever is sometimes an adverb:
- A: When shall I pay you the money back?
B. Whenever. It’s not important.
We also use whenever in questions instead of ‘when’ to express that we are surprised or disbelieving:
- Whenever do you find the time to go shopping? You’re always at work!