Who or Whom: Learn the Right Usage with Examples


As an online English speaking tutor, we are constantly flooded with the who vs whom debate. A lot of us often get confused which is the right word to use – who or whom.

Who and whom both are pronouns but 'who' is a subjective pronoun and 'whom' is an objective case. The same goes for 'whoever' and 'whomever'. The difference is that whom is the objective form of who.


In short, 'who' is a subject to a verb whereas a 'whom' is always an object in a sentence. Having said this, it is difficult to use the principle in practical terms. Therefore, let us look at some real examples to understand the proper usage of who and whom.

A woman was buying fruits in the market?

Who was buying fruits in the market? She was buying fruits in the market.

Now, observe closely, the answer is 'She', therefore going by the above formula, 'who' is right. However, if the answer would have been 'her' than 'whom' would have been the right choice.

For instance: The fruit vendor was talking to the woman.

To whom was the fruit vendor talking? Her. Therefore, whom is correct.

The easiest and simplest formula you need to remember is:

If you are getting these answers, you know what to use.

Let's look at some more examplesShe-He

• Who was calling me?

Answer: He was.

• From whom did you get my number?

Answer: I got it from him.

So far, we have taught you two simple ways to identify when to use who and whom. Now, let's look at another way.

This is our technique to ensure we never make mistakes. Turn the sentence around and replace the whom or who with him or he, respectively.

For instance:

Who/whom do you think is the best writer?

Here's a way to figure it out. Turn the sentence around and replace the who/whom with he/him.

Do you think he is the best writer?

Do you think him is the best writer?

Since, he is correct, use who.

Let's look at another example.

He wrote that article.

Him wrote that article.

Again, he is correct.

So, who would be the proper choice.

See. How simple it is to get the proper usage of who and whom.

There are several language courses online that teaches you the right technique in terms of proper English usage. You can learn English online with us and get to know more such interesting ways to improve your vocabulary and English speaking skills. Don't you think it is much simpler to remember grammar this way. This is our unique way of teaching English.



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