Sunday, July 30, 2017

Replace the word with “he”’ or “’she,” use who. Replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom.

The main reason why "who" replaces "whom" is that it is interpreted as the subject of a silent clause, "who it is."

Instead of saying the rigidly correct "Guess whom?" people say "Guess who," meaning "Guess who (it is)?"

Instead of saying "Whom do you want?" they say "Who do you want?" meaning "Who (is it) you want?"
Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition. When in doubt, try this simple trick: If you can replace the word with “he”’ or “’she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom.
  • Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.
  • Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

So, here's my best advice:

Use "who" whenever you hear that silent verb "is it" after it.  If you do this, you are not making a mistake.

You CAN'T hear the silent verb where you really HAVE to use "Whom."   You write "With whom?" because you would not write "With who (is it)?"
You would write "He loved whom?" because you would not write "He loved who (is it)?"

You write "I am looking for whom, it was given to whom, it was liked by whom," because you do not think of these whoms as beginning clauses.

That's the solution to "whom" versus "who."  It's the solution you have used unconsciously for a long time. The ear is now the test for correct "whoms."

Educated people overuse "whom" just as uneducated people overuse "who."

They are WRONG when they write "whom" followed by expressions like "I think," "they know," "we saw."

He's one whom they say won't let you down.
It was Bob whom she said started the fight.
We'll ask whomever we find knows the way.

Finally, strive not to separate "whom" from its preposition.
Write "from whom, of whom, about whom," and don't write "Whom did you get from?" "Whom are you asking the favor of." and "Whom are you talking about?"

It's better to write "Who are you sitting with." than to write "With whom are you sitting?" even though the latter is correct, grammatically.

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