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This question already has an answer here:

Which of the following example sentences is correct? (one uses who and the other uses whom)

This has caused a problem for students who, up until recently, were in good shape.

or

This has caused a problem for students whom, up until recently, were in good shape.

I am aware I should use whom when it's the object of the preposition, but I'm confused about how to analyze the grammar of these sentences.

marked as duplicate by Janus Bahs Jacquet, GoldenGremlin, Phil Sweet, ab2, curiousdannii Aug 10 '16 at 1:39

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    It doesn't have anything to do with the preceding "for students"; it only has to do with the following clause. "Who [...] were in good shape" is correct; "whom [...] were in good shape" would be wrong. – sumelic Jul 26 '16 at 6:00
  • @sumelic, you should add that as an answer so I can accept it. Unless I should just delete the question on account of the negative vote. – Raj Jul 26 '16 at 6:05
  • @sumelic, I did research, and I am aware I should use whom when it's the object of the preposition. Somehow I wasn't considering that the who was actually part of the subsequent phrase (as you pointed out). That was the source of the confusion, which was too specific to be shown on any website I referenced. – Raj Jul 26 '16 at 6:19
  • Sure, but I didn't know to include that information because I was looking at who as part of the prepositional phrase, until you said otherwise. Feel free to edit. – Raj Jul 26 '16 at 6:41
  • Here's another relevant question that may be more helpful, as I think it addresses this point in particular: May I please help who(m)ever is next – sumelic Jul 26 '16 at 6:42
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When using the objective case of the pronoun (them, him, etc.), you would use the objective whom.

When using the subjective pronoun (they, he, etc.), you would use the subjective who.

So the right answer is:

This has caused a problem for students who, up until recently, were in good shape.

  • Sorry about this, but I've actually edited the question based on some comments from Raj to make it more specific. You may want to look it over and edit your answer to add some more explanation of how these general guidelines interact with the preposition "for" and the following clause "were in good shape" in this particular sentence. – sumelic Jul 26 '16 at 7:04

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