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82

Short answer: When in doubt, use who. It's disconcerting to hear whom where who is expected, but the usage of who in situations where previously whom was standard has been increasing, especially in spoken usage. Longer answer: The traditional rule is that whom was to be used in the "objective case". What this means in practice (it's even controversial ...


16

"Whom remains in significant use following a preposition" but use in objective case is moribund. The Wikipedia article on "who" has a detailed explanation. The death of "whom" has been tracked on Language Log over the years. For example, here and here. More examples: "It's a made-up word used to trick students." "As far as I'm concerned, 'whom' is a word ...


14

When "who" is the object of the preposition, as in this case, it becomes "whom"; granted, this is archaic and often ignored in informal conversation. You'll often hear people say things like, "Who should I give this to?" It would be correct to say "Whom should I give this to?" or even (if you're really fussy) "To whom should I give this?" But almost no one ...


13

The difference between the who/whom debate and the preposition-ending debate is that the former has its root in a long tradition of English grammar, while the latter arose from the editorial labours of an extremely picky generation of classicists. The use of Subject/Object pronouns (who/whom, thee/thou) has largely atrophied, but until barely a century ago ...


10

Of all the style guides I have ever seen, none seem to recommend this system. For such a system to be recommended by an established style guide, it think should probably meet at least one of the following conditions: It is in current use by a large or respected group. It was in such use at a time not terribly long ago. It reflects the deeper workings of ...


8

I'm not really sure what you mean by "dative" in English, as there isn't really an accusative/dative distinction - in situations where other languages might use a dative, either the accusative is used ("I gave him the book") or a preposition ("I gave the book to him"). However, the following might be helpful in articulating why "who" can be used, and may ...


7

In this example, it should definitely be who. A single word question like that is typically seen, grammatically, as an ellipsis for a full-sentence version, as you say. But elided words/phrases are almost always things which have already just been said, so following “He ate the entire cake,” the natural ellipsis would be “Who [ate the entire cake]?”, not ...


6

There is no construction in the entirety of the English language in which accusative and dative pronouns are distinguished morphologically. Therefore it seems a bit, shall we say, eccentric to make such a distinction for only the relative pronoun or interrogative "who", and I'd be willing to put good money on the fact that no usage authority sanctions such a ...


6

The answer is that it has to be whoever, because the relative pronoun takes the case of the function it serves in the subordinate clause. That whole clause is “whoever is writing it”, where whoever is the subject. Swap in he-vs-him on things like this to see which one works right: you would never say *him is writing it, so it cannot be whomever. No, this ...


5

Whom to contact is the standard way of saying that. This was amply discussed in many cases on this site, including there and there.


5

The distinction between cases in the English language is not as strong as it used to be, or as it still is in some other languages, such as German. Because of that, we are left with those odd words that are case-dependent, such as 'who' and 'whom', that continue to be problematic. When used in the nominative case, such as in the subject of a sentence, use ...


5

The name Judas is indeed the object of the phrase in which it appears. However, this has no bearing on the selection of pronoun in a subsequent phrase, where the name can be used in a different function. If you apply the "whom/him" test to the phrase where you're actually trying to use who/whom, you'll get Who is a legitimate user of the system? He ...


4

Who is correct. In reality, whom is largely obsolete, and shouldn't be used in isolation. See this question for a general discussion of who/whom: Using "who" and "whom". As shown there, it's rarely actually necessary to use whom, and in the case of a one-word answer you should always fall back on who.


4

It works like this. You take a phrase, like who would be the best man for the job?. You reduce it to one word, who?. You do the same for when should this job be done?. You then use these phrases as nouns: what matters most is the who, not the when. Sentences like His no really shattered my dreams and I want no ifs or buts! are results of the same process. ...


4

Here is a really easy way to deal with case and prepositions: If the the preposition is directly modifying the noun, then the noun is always* accusative/dative. And, since accusative and dative forms both look like whom, you know it should always be whom (if you are using whom at all). *There is one major exception to the prep. phrase rule: of sometimes ...


4

Sure, it's fine. In fact, Whom is the right person to turn to? sounds downright silly, and To whom is the right person to turn? is even sillier, if possible. No native English speaker would ever say either one, at least not in the USA. The best advice about the use of whom is Don't bother to use whom. Ever, at all. Whom is dead. It's an ...


4

Here is the easy way to figure out which one is correct. If you answer the question (or substitute the statement) with 'he' and it makes sense, use 'who.' If 'him' makes sense, use 'whom.' 'Whom' and 'him' both have the letter m so that is how to remember that they go together. "Whom did you ask?" "I asked him." "Who answered the question?" "He answered ...


4

I have friends from all walks of life who/that/whom I consider my best friends. In a sentence like yours, the usage of all three relative words ("who", "that", whom") are acceptable in today's standard English. BUT, if you are taking a class, either as a native English speaker or as an EFL/ESL speaker, then you'll have to give the version that ...


3

"A patient" is indeed the object of the sentence, but "who is..." is an adjectival clause modifying that object, so effectively it's standing in for the subject of a new sentence. So "who" is correct. By the way, in your second sentence, it should more correctly be: "...with whom I went on holiday."


3

You only have a problem if you parse the sentence as: May I please help whomever [is next]. If you parse it correctly as: May I please help [whoever is next], with whoever as subject of the dependent clause, then it is clear why whoever is right.


3

Those are not the same structure at all. The first is equivalent to The strict manager saw him (that is, the employee) improve sales. If you see him do something, then you still see him. While the second is equivalent to: The show’s producer thought he (that is, the actor) would be suitable. If he would be suitable, it is just he, no matter ...


3

I want to know ---- you talked to. (who or whom?) I want to know --- the culprit is. (who or whom?) The simple answer is: Always use who. Never use whom. I.e, who works, and is natural and grammatical in both of the example sentences. I want to know who you talked to. I want to know who the culprit is. This is what most native English ...


2

In your case, the person is the object of the sentence, while I'm is the subject. Even though the sentence has a questionable structure, it's correct This article does a remarkable job explaining when to use who and whom. To know whether to use who or whom, we need to talk about the difference between subjects and objects because you use who when ...


2

Whenever you would use the objective case of the pronoun (them, him, etc.), you would use the objective whom. Whenever you would use the subjective pronoun (they, he, etc.), you would use the subjective who. "Five of them collected hats" is correct, not "five of they collected hats." Thus, five of whom is also going to be correct.


2

Let's start by taking the truncated phrase and expanding it to a longer more recognisable sentence, while comparing it with another example of the same structure. What to do - what is one to do? - what should one do? - what should I do? Whom to follow - whom is one to follow? - whom should one follow? - whom should I follow? Here, the answer would be 'you ...


2

It's correct, but whom is formal and in modern speech can sometimes sound overly formal, especially when repeated. As the Guardian style guide editor says: It's true that when they speak most people don't use "whom", and with good reason: it would make them sound like pompous twerps ("to whom do I owe the pleasure?"). Written English, however, ...


2

Whom and who in object position or in a prepositional phrase are both grammatical in Standard English. The difference is one of formality, with whom being used in the most formal contexts. ‘The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language’ says all that needs to be said on the matter on pages 7 and 8 here.


2

"By whom?" is correct. "Who by?" is incorrect, though it is commonly used, especially in speech as opposed to writing. Actually I suspect the most commonly used expression would be "By who?" "Who by?" is really doubly incorrect because it both uses the wrong form of the word "who" and it puts the object of the preposition before the preposition. To those ...


2

Relative pronouns tend to refer to the most recent noun, and here the most recent noun, is group. Group could be perceived as inanimate, but in this context, at least, it is clearly a group of people, and that makes whom appropriate. That choice is reinforced by the fact that managers is the topic of the discussion. If you wanted to avoid the choice ...



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