My school homework asks for abbreviated versions of words, one of which is 'Who are' can this be abbreviated to 'Who're or would it be 'Whom'? Jessica, aged 8

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    Most writers don't use this particular orthography for the "contracted" form. It's tedious wading through text that pointlessly tries to replicate every aspect of any given utterance in this way. It should be enough to occasionally include a few of those contractions that are more commonly reflected in the orthographic form, and leave it to the reader to assume this extends to other words uttered by the same speaker. Note that nobody ever says Whom are you? anyway (but a few fuddy-duddies still use that form in "object, not subject" contexts like Whom are you calling?). Jun 17, 2019 at 13:24
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    Whom is not an abbreviation of who under any circumstances ever.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jun 17, 2019 at 13:25
  • @RegDwigнt: Riffing off What are you like! in the sense of You're outrageous!, how about Who'm I like! Jun 17, 2019 at 13:28
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    Hello, Jessica. I know we're all still learning English (and if we're silly enough to think we're almost there, it goes and changes), but our sister site, ELL, is perhaps more suitable for those who're as far from the fuddy-duddy stage as you are. // Deciphering FumbleFingers' comments, who're is the only contraction used for who are, and is often heard in conversation as it's informal, but is correspondingly seldom seen in print (except to faithfully record conversation). Jun 17, 2019 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


For some explanatory context, a possible reason "who're" isn't often written is because it looks a lot like "whore" (especially in condensed type) a word considered offensive by most, and at the least, distracting from the intended meaning.

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    Answers are expected to stand by themselves, therefore you should include a full answer of what the accepted abbreviation is and how it's used before saying why it isn't common in print. Aug 5, 2021 at 16:22

The answer is “who’re”. Contractions have an apostrophe: ‘

Loosely, “whom” is the the object form of “who”.

The subject of a sentence is the one doing the verb. The direct object of a sentence is the thing the verb is being done to.

“Bob ate food.” Bob is the subject. Food is the object.

I love whom? (We use whom because it is the object of the sentence, the one being loved)

Who loves me? (We use who because it is the subject of the sentence, the one doing the loving)

Thank you for the question, Good luck! 😀👍🏻

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