Who or Whom? What's a Person to Use?

Did I hear you say "Whom did you say is calling"? If so, we suggest you look into this tip.

If you have ever struggled with these little words, you are not alone. The English language is full of quirks and challenges that we encounter every day of our lives. If you want to be noticed as an exceptional writer and communicator, check these tips out to help you make the correct choices.

Use "who" and "whoever" when you could substitute he, she, they, I, or we as the subject.

  • Who is waiting? (She is waiting)

  • Who did you say was the chosen employee? (Did you say he was chosen?)

  • The prize goes to whoever gets five new clients. (She obtained five new clients)

Use "whom" and "whomever" whenever you could substitute him, her, them, me, as the subject.

  • Whom did you ask to prepare the proposal? (You asked him to prepare it)

  • Whom did you say you wanted to conduct the meeting? (You said you wanted her to conduct)

  • The job goes to whomever you call first. (You call him first)

Tip: If "who" or "whom" appears in the middle of a sentence, cover the words before "who" and "whom" and ask yourself if (he, she, or they) is the best way to word it, and if so, use "who" or ask yourself if (her, him or them) is the best way to word it, and if so, use "whom".

Example: If I have to go to the office today, "who" (he, she, they) or "whom" (her, him or them) should go with me? The obvious answer is, he, she or they should go with me, not her, him or them should go with me.

So the correct wording of this sentence is, If I have to go to the office today, who should go with me?

These are just a few examples. If you want to fine-tune your grammar, take a course at your local college or invest in a good reference guide.

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