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Who vs. Whom: Understanding the Difference in English Grammar

In the English language, "who" and "whom" are both pronouns used to refer to people. However, many English speakers and English learners struggle to know which one to use in a sentence. To help clear up the confusion, I'm going to explain the difference between "who" and "whom" and give you some tips on how to use them correctly.


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The basic difference between "who" and "whom" is that "who" is used as the subject of a sentence, while "whom" is used as the object.

For example:

  • Who ate the last cookie?

  • Whom did you give the book to?

In the first sentence, "who" is the subject of the verb "ate," and in the second sentence, "whom" is the object of the verb "give." If you're not sure whether to use "who" or "whom," try rephrasing the sentence in your head with a different pronoun. If "he" or "she" would work, use "who." If "him" or "her" would work, use "whom."


Here are some more examples:

  • Who is going to the party?

  • Whom should I ask for help?

  • Who wrote this book?

  • To whom did you send the letter?

In the first sentence, "who" is the subject of the verb "is going." In the second sentence, "whom" is the object of the verb "ask." In the third sentence, "who" is the subject of the verb "wrote." In the fourth sentence, "whom" is the object of the preposition "to."



One common mistake people make with "whom" is using it when they should use "who." This is often because "whom" sounds more formal or educated. However, using "whom" incorrectly can make you sound less educated, so it's important to use it correctly. Remember, "whom" is only used as the object of a verb or preposition.


Another tip for using "who" and "whom" correctly is to pay attention to the context of the sentence. If the sentence is a question and you're asking for the subject, use "who." If you're asking for the object, use "whom."


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Even though it may be confusing at first, remember that "who" is used as the subject of a sentence, and "whom" is used as the object. The best way to remember how to use them correctly is by rephrasing the sentence with different pronouns and by paying attention to