I found a grammar rule about when to choose "who" and "whom".

Rule. Use this he/him method to decide whether who or whom is correct:

he = who

him = whom

So I have a question about correctness of the following question:

Who should I give this job to?

According to this rule we should have used whom instead of who, because I should give this job to him, not I should give this job to he. But there's a man who keeps telling me that

Whom should I give this job to?

is wrong. Please clarify?

  • 3
    "Whom" is correct. It is the proper usage of the objective pronoun. Although the term is currently in flux, it is desirable--at least in my humble opinion--that the "formal" or, perhaps more appropriately, historically correct form be used wherever possible. In that case, "whom."
    – franklin
    May 30, 2015 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


In modern colloquial English, "who" is always okay. In your example, you have correctly applied the rule for old-fashioned and formal English -- it would be "Whom should I give the job to?", or perhaps better (in that style): "To whom should I give the job?" (But "To who should I give the job?" sounds wrong.)

  • 1
    Hi, Greg, I think your answer, "In modern colloquial English, "who" is always okay." could be a little misleading even though I fully understand what you mean. Why not change it to "... always okay except that it follows a preposition"?
    – user140086
    Feb 20, 2016 at 15:37
  • 1
    @Rathony, Okay, I added a note about this. However, I think in some circumstances "to who" sounds pretty good. If someone tells you to give a book away, you could ask, "To who?"
    – Greg Lee
    Feb 20, 2016 at 18:05
  • 1
    Great. I just upvoted your answer. To who sounds correct. So there is no hard and fast rule. :-)
    – user140086
    Feb 20, 2016 at 18:08

Greg pointed the right solution : By using to whom, you must put "whom". In US colloquial speech we use who for whom & it's fine. But here, "To whom" sounds the best version.

Plus, this "Whom" is object to receive the job, so as it is not active, it should not be "Who" whatever we may say today.


If you choose the tag "whom" you'll find about 50 posts about the topic whom or who. "whom" is the normal accusative but language is changing and in spoken language the m of whom is dropped due to the fact that in English nominative and accusative have the same form with the exception of a handful of personal pronouns (special accusatives: me him her us them). And in written language whom is becoming formal.


Indeed, to make it easier now, we use who for whom except in cases with subordonate or complex constructions which are not always found in formal speech : "A pom pom girl gets in then sees the WR with whom she has an affair". But if you'd use nominative for accusative, who for whom : beware ! "A receiver on who the QB can rely" is wrong ; as it must be on whom even with relatives because a preposition is preceding the object.

  • 1
    Do you need to write another post to answer the same question? Why not edit your previous answer?
    – user140086
    Feb 20, 2016 at 14:30
  • Yes Rathony, because the 2nd post is dealing about complex constructions ; the 1st. one was for direct speech.
    – DAVE
    Feb 20, 2016 at 14:41
  • 1
    The poster didn't ask about who/whom in a complex sentence. The question is about the interrogative pronoun who/whom, not the relative pronoun who/whom.
    – user140086
    Feb 20, 2016 at 14:44
  • I also understood the question but Greg wrote "who" is ALWAYS okay ; so I thought we had to make this precision in a 2nd post.
    – DAVE
    Feb 20, 2016 at 15:35

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