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The usage of the words WHO and WHOM ?

Tags: education
Asked by sudhakar kuruvada, 27 Apr '13 10:39 pm
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Answers (2)


Theres a continuing debate in English usage about when you should use who and when to use whom. According to the rules of formal grammar, who should be used in the subject position in a sentence, while whom should be used in the object position, and also after a preposition. For example:
Who made this decision? [here, who is the subject of the sentence]
Whom do you think we should support? [here, whom is the object of support]
To whom do you wish to speak? [here, whom is following the preposition to]
Some people do still follow these rules but there are many more who never use whom at all. The normal practice in current English is to use who in all contexts, i.e.:
Who do you think we should support?
Who do you wish to speak to?
Answered by LIPSIKA, 27 Apr '13 10:56 pm

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This is one of those tricky grammar questions that continues to confound some people. According to the American Heritage Book of English Usage, "Who is used for a grammatical subject, where a nominative pronoun such as I or he would be appropriate, and whom is used as the object of a verb or preposition."
For those of us to whom (notice the correct usage of "whom" after a preposition) grammar school is a distant memory, a little basic English review is needed. A nominative pronoun acts as a subject of a verb (Who ate the cake?) or as the subject of a linked verb (Did you see who ate the cake?). A direct object, on the other hand, is the object of a verb (Whom did you call?) or a preposition (He is the person to whom I placed the call).

If the days of diagramming sentences on the blackboard are fuzzy, and subjects and objects swim together in a sea of confusion for you, many sites advise you to simply trust your ear. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation offers this helpful tip: ...more
Answered by Quest, 27 Apr '13 10:41 pm

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