Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Ridiculous World of 'Whom'?


Personally, I think the word whom should be demoted just like the planet Pluto. But since whom is a word we have to deal with, I will try to simply explain its correct use.

                                                      

The difference between whom and who:  Both whom and who are pronouns. 'Who is used as the subject of a sentence or phrase to indicate who is doing something. 'Whom' is used as the object of a verb to indicate who has something done to it.

                 Who = Subject = He/She
                 Whom = Object = Him/Her

Often a preposition (by, for, in, with, at, etc.) comes before 'whom', but not always. So in deciding which, 'who' or 'whom, is correct, ask the question: 

Who is doing what to whom?

The following examples should make this easier to follow.

1.  Who do you consider the best dragon-book character?
                     Should it be who or whom?

Figure it out by turning the sentence around and replacing the who or whom with he or him. If he is wrong, so is who. If him is wrong, so is whom.

      Do you consider him the best dragon-book character?
      Do you consider he the best dragon-book character? 

Since him is correct, whom is also correct.
      Whom do you consider the best dragon-book character? 

2.  It was Snarls, the dragon, who starred in that book.
                     Should it be who or whom?

Figure it out by turning the sentence around and replacing the who or whom with he or him. If he is wrong, so is who. If him is wrong, so is whom.

                          He starred in that book.
                          Him starred in that book.

Since he is correct, who is also correct.
        It was Snarls, the dragon, who starred in that book. 

Here are some sentences for you to test your new who/who knowledge. Answers at the bottom of the post.

1.   Nobody knows who/whom will get the staring role.

2.   Nobody knows who/whom we will choose for the staring role.

3.   Please point out the actor who/whom you met today.

4.   Snarls, who/whom, was the original dragon character in that  series, now lives at Longstride Castle.

5.  Send the invitational scrolls to whoever/whomever know Snarls.

ANSWERS:
1. who
2. whom
3. whom
4. who
5. whoever

Just remember the simple little rule of he/she vs. him/her, and the problematic who/whom should become easier to solve.

Visit my author website:  http://www.dragonsbook.com

copyright, Diane Mae Robinson, 2013