Who vs Whom – When to Choose Which One and Why?

Who vs. whom. Are you aware of the difference between these two pronouns? Because they sound similar, most people confuse their usage. But not to worry! This article is going to clear your doubts. We get it! Grammar is complicated but not so complicated if you read the lines in the rule book. Go ahead and read this article below.

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In this guide, we’ll be showing you the difference between these two pronouns. You will also learn how to use these pronouns when constructing sentences. Before we discuss it, make sure to learn the usage of other words in 501 Words.

On this page, you’ll learn about the following:

Who vs Whom

We already know that there is a difference between these two pronouns, but don’t exactly know what it is.

“Who” refers to the subject of the sentence. On the other hand, “whom” refers to the object of a verb or preposition. 

Informative bulb

When to Use Who & Whom

One helpful tip to distinguish between the two is to replace it with another pronoun. If you can replace “he” or “she” with it, use “who” in your sentence. Meanwhile, use “whom” if you can replace it with “him” or “her” with it.

Who vs Whom Examples

To make things easier, here are some examples to help you distinguish between the two pronouns.

Who/whom will pay for the meal?

Right: Who will pay for the meal?
Wrong: Whom will pay for the meal?

This example makes more sense when you read, “he/she will pay for the meal.” It doesn’t make sense if you used him/her. This is why using who is the right answer.

The package is delivered to the house by who/whom?

Right: The package is delivered to the house by whom?
Wrong: The package is delivered to the house by who?

It gets tricky because they both sound right. Remember, first identify what’s the subject of the sentence. In this case, the subject is the package and not the person doing it. Which is why we use “whom” in this sentence because it is the object of the verb “delivered.”

Let’s use the helpful tip of replacing pronouns again. The sentence “The package is delivered to the house by him/her” makes more sense than using “he/she.”

Who/Whom is being summoned to court?

Right: Who is being summoned to court?
Wrong: Whom is being summoned to court?

In this example, it makes more sense to read, “He/She is being summoned to court” compared to “him/her.”

How To Avoid The Who Vs Whom Error

It is often hard to tell who or whom is the better of the two. But if you are not sure, there are a few simple tricks to get you in the right frame of mind. The first is to use a grammar checker such as Grammarly to make sure you are not making an error. Similarly, if you are writing a formal letter or document, you want to use the proper form. This will ensure that your work is free of errors.

For those who are not familiar with the differences between who and whom, it is a simple matter of which refers to the subject of a sentence and which is the object of a preposition. As a rule of thumb, “who” is the subject, and “whom” is the object of a preposition. If you are not sure which is the correct one, you can use the ProWritingAid tool. Using a grammar checker is a great way to catch errors before they make it into your final draft.

Although it may seem like a no-brainer, many people confuse who and whom. You might even be tempted to use whom in place of who. Whom is an archaic word that has fallen out of favor. And in some cases, it’s a good idea to avoid using it altogether.

In general, the proper usage of whom is more formal and may sound a little bit elitist. In fact, some native English speakers have become accustomed to the word. However, this does not mean you should use it. Some of the more elitist types have a very strict attitude towards whom.

On the other hand, who is the simpler of the two. This is because who is a much more common term, and it is often used to replace who. Another reason why this is the case is that who is more useful in the context of a question. For example, who do you go to the movies with? Of course, who is a much better answer, but it’s not as easy to ask that question as it would be with whom.

While who and whom are both great words to use, they also have a slightly different meaning. Using who in place of whom is not a serious mistake, but if you are unsure, you should use whom. Or, you could do what most people do and simply avoid who altogether. Most native English readers will not even notice that you aren’t using the proper word.

Choosing between who and whom is a bit of a pain, but using the right one will help you be a smarter sex. That means you will be able to impress your partner and earn their trust. So, the next time you have a pending date or a job interview to attend, you will be more prepared than the average person. With a little practice, you will be able to write in a formal way without sacrificing style.

Who vs Whom vs Whose

“Whose” is the possessive form of “who.” This means that you should only use this for sentences that indicate possession. This is often used in questions.


Whose dog is this?
Whose car is parked outside?
Whose turn is it to go outside?


You can check out more articles about To vs Too – When to Choose Which One and Why?


Frequently Asked Questions


Who I met or Whom I met?

“Whom” is used to refer to the object of the clause and “Who” is used to refer to the subject of a sentence. So, in this case, you should use, “The girl whom I met at the club”.

Who knows Whom?

Who knows Whom is used to introduce an unknown by someone known.

State a simple technique to use Who & Whom?

In confusion to use who and whom. Remember this simple technique, when there is “he” or “she” in your sentence, use who. When there is “him” and “her” in your sentence, use whom.


Conclusion


Knowing the difference between “who” and “whom” is important, especially if you’re communicating in business and professional settings. While it seems confusing at first, replacing pronouns in place of who and whom makes it easier. Post questions about writing issues, interrogative pronoun, subjective-case pronoun, objective-case pronoun, object position, direct object, indirect object or anything from the article in the comment box below.


The word “whom” is disappearing from American spoken English. “Whom” is mainly used as a replacement of “who” as the object of a verb or preposition.

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