Who and Whom

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Who and Whom

Post  Vincent Law on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:26 pm


A general rule is to use who as the subject of a verb or the person who is doing the action of a verb. Otherwise, use whom. (Same with whoever and whomever).

Two ways to help you determine which to use:

Find the verb or verbs. If the pronoun does the action of a verb, it’s who or whoever.
Rewrite a simple sentence, using he or him in place of who or whom, and rephrasing the sentence appropriately. For instance, “Who do you trust?” may not sound wrong to you. But “Do you trust he?” certainly does. You can see that it would be “Do you trust him?” so you know it should be “Whom do you trust?”

Three cases that might confuse you:

When a pronoun is the object of a preposition, the pronoun takes the objective case, such as whom. But if a dependent clause is the object of the preposition, who might follow a preposition and appear at first glance to be the object. For instance: “Tony wanted to whack whomever was talking to the feds” might seem correct. This is an instance where the second trick above might not work, because you could rewrite the sentence “Tony wanted to whack him.” But remember our basic rule: Is the pronoun the doing the action of a verb? The pronoun was talking. So the correct choice is: “Tony wanted to whack whoever was talking to the feds.”
Attribution sometimes separates the subject from the verb. Ignore it as you seek to decide whether your pronoun is the subject of the verb: “They will arrest whoever Sipowicz says murdered the DOA.” On a quick read, it might appear that the pronoun is the object of arrest or says, and thus the pronoun should be whomever. Again, rewriting this sentence may not help, because you might rewrite, “They will arrest him.” But look closer: the pronoun murdered, separated from its verb by the phrase “Sipowicz says.” Just remove the attribution from the sentence and it becomes clear: “They will arrest whoever murdered the DOA.”
Make sure the pronoun is actually doing the action of the verb: “A local woman, who Marge describes as blue-haired like herself, plans to visit next week.” In this sentence, who clearly does not describe. However, the same person represented by who does plan, so you might think who is correct. But woman is the subject of plan. Who does not do the action of any verb, so use whom.

One important thing to consider: In these confusing cases, the correct usage might “sound” wrong. So consider rewriting the sentence to avoid the confusion: “They will arrest the suspect Sipowicz identifies as the murderer.”

http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/grammar-matters/
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Vincent Law
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Re: Who and Whom

Post  Vincent Law on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:56 pm

- Rule:
Use the he/him method to decide which word is correct.
he = who
him = whom

Examples:
"Who/Whom wrote the letter?"
> He wrote the letter. Therefore, who is correct.

"For who/whom should I vote?"
> Should I vote for him? Therefore, whom is correct.

"We all know who/whom pulled that prank."

> This sentence contains two clauses: We all know and who/whom pulled that prank. We are interested in the second clause because it contains the who/whom. He pulled that prank. Therefore, who is correct. (Are you starting to sound like a hooting owl yet?)

"We want to know on who/whom the prank was pulled."
> This sentence contains two clauses: We want to know and the prank was pulled on who/whom. Again, we are interested in the second clause because it contains the who/whom. The prank was pulled on him. Therefore, whom is correct.


http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/whovwhom.asp
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