1

I'm fairly aware that who is used for subjects and that whom is used for objects. However, what about when the object is actually being modified by a clause? I have the sentence

We can determine this by solving for the location of a consumer, ______ is indifferent to each of these stores.

Would who or whom be more appropriate in the blank? Would it be who because the customer is indifferent, or would it be whom, since it is the location of a customer?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Janus Bahs Jacquet, sumelic, Nigel J, J. Taylor Apr 29 '18 at 17:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Answered long ago at dative 'whom' with accusative 'who' (psmears' answer). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 29 '18 at 7:59
  • 1
    Except that English does not have a dative case! – BillJ Apr 29 '18 at 8:07
  • 1
    What do you mean by "we can determine this by solving for the location of a consumer"? It makes no sense to me, since "solving" takes a direct object, but there isn't one present. Where did you find this sentence? – BillJ Apr 29 '18 at 8:12
  • I don’t understand what you mean by “when the object is actually being modified by a clause”. There is no object, and there’s no clause modifying the relative pronoun. It’s the subject, and the only other constituent in the relative clause (apart from the verb) is a predicative complement. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 29 '18 at 8:49
  • 1
    I think the comma is incorrect, because the relative clause is "restrictive": it's necessary and not incidental that the consumer is indifferent to each of these stores. – sumelic Apr 29 '18 at 14:24
2

The technique below shows how to decide between who and whom by replacing the subject to her or she and seeing what fits best. As Mr. Sanan points out in a comment, the resulting sentences are both incorrect because they contain .

Replace a consumer by Jack Bauer. Now fill the blank with he and him:

We can determine this by solving for the location of a consumer, he is indifferent to each of these stores.

We can determine this by solving for the location of a consumer, him is indifferent to each of these stores.

The second sentence is incorrect, so it should be who. If the second sentence was correct and the first was not we would choose whom.

  • Nice way to show how to think about the problem. However, don’t you think it would be worth explain the source of JJJ’s misunderstanding? S/he seems not to be clear that the case of any pronoun is determined by its relationship to the verb in the clause in which it occurs? Now I read this, mind you, I recognise what a good piece of teaching your answer is! I’ll upvote it! – Tuffy Apr 29 '18 at 7:37
  • But 'This is John, who you met last year' is far more idiomatic than 'This is John, whom you met last year'. As has been stated many times on ELU, 'whom' is heading for the archaic except when used immediately after a preposition. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 29 '18 at 8:04
  • 1
    Both sentences are incorrect, since the first has a comma splice. – Patrick Sanan Apr 29 '18 at 13:01
1

"Who" is correct here, because it's the subject of "is".

  • So should 'This is Jane, who you met last year' be considered wrong? That would be a hyperprescriptive view; in fact, there are stronger arguments for considering the use of 'whom' here less acceptable nowadays. But all this has been discussed on ELU many times before. Please don't duplicate. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 29 '18 at 8:07
  • 1
    Rosie is right: subject pronouns take nominative case, whatever one's preferences are for pronouns in object function. And she isn't duplicating, but simply answering the question -- and with the right answer too. – BillJ Apr 29 '18 at 8:30
  • I answered the question as posed. Anyone who thinks there should be no dup should vote to close the question as a dup. – Rosie F Apr 29 '18 at 10:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.