‘Who’ or ‘Whom’?

Quick grammar tips 0 51

who or whom

Who or whom?

How many times have you stopped to think which pronoun to use?

Here are 2 methods to help:

Subject and object

Identify which is the subject and which the object. We use “who” to refer to the subject of a clause in a sentence and “whom” to refer to the object of a clause. The subject is the person doing something – with the object.

Here are some examples…

Let us say I tripped over Bartholomew, so I am the subject and Bartholomew the object. Therefore, the correct way to ask is “Whom did you trip over?”

Similarly, it would be “Whom do you adore?” because you are asking about the object – the focus of my adulation.

Who/Whom bought the gift?
He bought the gift. Therefore, “who” is correct.

Still not clear? Try the second method:

He/him

  • he = who
  • him = whom. Like “whom,” the pronoun “him” ends with “m.”

When you are thinking whether to use “who” or “whom”, ask yourself: is the answer to the question “he” or “him.”

For example, if you are asking, “Who (or whom) do you like?” The answer would be “I like him.” “Him” ends with an “m,” so the correct usage is, “Whom do you like?”

More examples:

“For who/whom should I vote?” I should vote for him. Therefore, whom is correct.

“We all know who/whom played that song”. This sentence contains two clauses. We should pay attention to the second clause because it contains the who/whom. Who played the song? He played the song, so, who is correct.

“We want to know who/whom that song was played for”. This sentence contains two clauses: Again, look at the second clause because it contains the who/whom. The song was played for him. Therefore, whom is correct.

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Manoj Nair

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Hi! I am Manoj and I am an English language blogger from Singapore.

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