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silvia
Use of whom and who

Someone can help me with the use of whom???? compared to who???

Feb 27, 2015 2:35 PM
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Who is used as the subject of a verb.

(As an interrogative pronoun):
Who’s calling, please?

(As a relative pronoun):
The man who called asked to speak to my father.
(In this sentence, the relative pronoun that can also be used.)

(As the subject of a noun clause):
I wonder who is going to win the election.

Whom is used in more formal speech and writing as the object of a verb or preposition. Informally, whom is often replaced with who.

In the next, less formal, sentences where whom is an interrogative pronoun, whom or who can be used:

Did you tell anybody about this? Whom did you tell?
Did you tell anybody about this? Who did you tell?

Whom are you going to meet?
Who are you going to meet?

In the next group of sentences, whom is a relative pronoun. Here it’s possible to replace whom with who or that, or to omit the relative pronoun entirely:

She married the man whom she really loved, and lived happily ever after.
She married the man who she really loved, and lived happily ever after.
She married the man that she really loved, and lived happily ever after.
She married the man Ø she really loved, and lived happily ever after.

In the next three sentences, whom appears directly after a preposition. Here only whom is possible, and the pronoun can’t be omitted.

To whom should I address the letter?
The person with whom you should speak is the vice-consul in charge of community relations.

In some other sentence constructions, the choice of who or whom may be more problematic.

 

Hope this description makes the differences clear to you. :)

February 27, 2015

In general, whom replaces him, who replaces he.

I would say - 'I gave it to him" so you would ask - "You gave it to whom?"

I am speaking to him => Whom are you speaking to?

 

He owns this book = > Who owns this book?

He is my teacher => Who is my teacher

Actually 'whom' sounds a little strange so many people in conversation would simply use 'who'.

 

February 27, 2015

"Whom" is used to describe an unspecified person that something is happening "to", while "who" is an unspecified person that is being named or identified without any action being done to them.  For example:

 

- Who is that man?

- To whom are you speaking?

- This is Sara, who is my sister

- Sara is the person to whom I will give this gift

February 27, 2015

Silvia, if you are mainly concerned about oral English, I really wouldn't worry about using 'whom'.

 

In some languages, such as German, it is actually incorrect and sounds very wrong indeed to use a subject pronoun in the place of an object one. This isn't the case in English.  It is actually very rare to use 'whom' in spoken Englsih. For example, although it is technically more correct to say:

 

'To whom should I give the money?'

 

in practice, no native speaker would say this in normal conversation. Instead, we would use the much more natural-sounding

 

'Who should I give the money to?'

 

 

March 1, 2015

I hardly ever use "whom", and I agree with others that it is quite antiquated, especially in spoken English. 

 

Having travelled around quite a bit, it seems to me that in the USA whom is used more frequently than in the Commonwealth nations. Also, in the British English world whom can be associated with classism.

March 1, 2015
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silvia
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language
English