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Who vs. Whom: Explanation + Easy Trick

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Author:   bianca
Created: March 24, 2010 at 07:40 am
Entry Type: Article, G (All)
Category: Writing | Advice | Educational
Entry Stats: 5 comments 3222 views

Who vs. Whom: Explanation + Easy Trick
It’s often difficult for some of us to know when to use who and when to use whom. Although the mistake is quite common and rarely pointed out, it’s still a good idea to know the difference—especially if you are a writer.

You use who when you are referring to the subject of a clause and whom when you are referring to the object of a clause. Stay with me on this, there's an explanation and an easy trick to remember coming up!

Who (pronoun; possessive whose; objective whom) is used in place of the subject of a question or clause. Use when the sentence requires a subject pronoun (like he or she):

  • Who wrote the book?
  • Who are you?
  • Do you know who told the secret?

Whom (pronoun) is used in place of the object of a question or clause. Use whom when the sentence requires an object pronoun (like him or her)

  • With whom do you ride?
  • With whom are you going?
  • For whom did you vote?

In some circles, it doesn't really matter to people if you use who instead of whom but the truth is, it’s the difference between I and me, she and her, and he and him. To the trained ear, the difference is as large and apparent as an elephant in the room.

Easy Trick: The “he/him” method
Still don’t understand when to use who and when to use whom? An easy trick is to answer the question or restate the sentence using “he” or “him”.

He = who

Him = whom

(Remember this by noting that both him and whom have an “m” at the end)

Who do you love? / Whom do you love?
Which one is correct?

To figure this one out, answer the question using the he/him method:
I love he. / I love him.

The correct way to write this question would be: Whom do you love?

Last Modified: November 04, 2013 at 03:21 am

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Comments & Reviews

October 25, 2011

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Thank you for educated and advised us of how to write a proper grammar of who and whom. -Loi-

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October 11, 2010

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lol thanks so much. I always confuse those two
haha love you ^^

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March 24, 2010

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Thank you
This is very informative thank you

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March 24, 2010

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Great little trick. I have not heard it expressed that way before. Thx. D

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March 24, 2010

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We talked about this in my how to argue class because I brought it up. Strange.
Take care,

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