English Grammar- How to Use "Who" and "Whom" Correctly?

Wh' words or it can be said that pronouns have always been a subject of confusion among students who are learning English grammar. Even, sometimes, native speakers have no idea of what they are talking about and which word makes more sense.

So, here we come up with our new article on English grammar explaining the difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom', the two important pronouns of the grammar of the English language. It takes the worth of your precious minutes to avoid mistakes of using these two further. In this article, you are going to learn-

  • Grammatical difference between the two.
  • Using whom with prepositions.
  • The difference in the context of pronouns.
  • Examples explain the difference between the two.

Who or whom? These words sound similar to most English speakers, you realize that there's a contrast between these pronouns, Yet you don't know what that distinction is. After reading this article, you could reason that knowing when to utilize who or whom isn't quite so troublesome as you might suspect.

Who’ VS ‘Whom’- The Grammar Rule

Who and whom are two pronouns of the English language’s grammar. Both pronouns are used for referring to a person and they can be used as an interrogative form of pronouns. But the grammar suggests that there is a Grammatical difference between the two.

Who is a subjective pronoun as it is always a subject to a verb?

Whom is an objective pronoun, as it is always an object to a verb or preposition. (With some exceptions discussed further)

For example-

That is the teacher who praised the students for their work. Here, the teacher is the subject and his Verb is to praise. So here we used the Pronoun who.

whom did the teacher praise? Here, The teacher acts as an object in the sentence and The pronoun Whom is the receiver of an action.

Difference Between the Two in Context of Other Pronouns

The pronouns Who and Whom are used differently in a sentence as similar as I and me, he and him, she and her.

The pronoun who is used for the pronouns I, he, she. And the pronoun "Whom" is used at the place of me, him, her.

For example-

Who proposed the Idea of the sales structure?

Answer- She proposed the idea of the cell structure. (Wrong- Her proposed______)

So here, The Pronoun "Who" is placed at the place of the subject in the sentence. It was answered and got replaced with ‘she' is the answer.

This is the person who helped me at my bad.

Answer- Oh! He helped you. I didn’t know it earlier.

Whom do you like the most?

Answer- I like her the most. (It can’t be I like she the most.)

Here, the pronoun ‘whom’ asked the subject (you) about the liking so ‘whom’ acted as an object. In this sentence, whom is replaced with the pronoun ‘her'.

To whom this toy belongs?

Answer- This toy belongs to her.

To whom did you speak?

In this sentence, if you convert it like,- You spoke to whom? You will get the idea that whom acts as an object in the sentence.

Another sentence can be- Whom did you speak to?

It can be a sentence but it makes the sentence somewhat fussy. It can be corrected by

Who did you speak to?

So the thing that comes out of here is that the pronoun whom is followed by a preposition always and it makes more sense when it is used with a preposition.

With whom am I speaking?

Answer- Hi this is me, your friend. ( Answer can’t be-Hi, this is I)

Similarly, you can do vice versa. At the place of pronouns he or she, you can convert it in question form by using the pronoun ‘who’. But for the pronouns of him or her, the pronoun ‘whom'.

Some Additional Discussion On The Same

Who and whom are the pronouns which can be used in complex sentences too. These can be used as An adjectival clause in the sentence.

For example

I visited the National Park last week and I met the person who was a scientist by profession.

So here in the above sentence, who acts as a conjunction in the sentence and joins two sentences together. Who, here, is referring to the scientist or the person met.

I attended one board meeting last week and I met him by whom the board meeting was conducted.

Remember one thing, the pronoun "Whom" is followed by a preposition as in the above sentence. Here, "Whom" is an adjectival clause and his quality was that he conducted the board meeting.

Other examples

Who told me to do that work?

Who should I present my work to?

In both the above sentences- who is working well in both the sentences but can you tell the difference that if whom is to be used, then in which sentence, it can be used.

Let’s convert it in answer form.

First sentence- Mr. Jack told me to do that work. (Here, who can’t be replaced with the word whom as Mr. Jack acts as a subject in the sentence.

Second Sentence- I should present my work to Mr. Jack. (Here, Mr. Jack is an object in the sentence so, in this sentence, who can be replaced with the pronoun whom)

To whom should I present my work?

Prepositions with which “Whom" can be used

Whom' can be used with by, to, from, for etc.

For example-

To whom you are accountable?


Whom you are accountable to?

For whom you are working?


Whom you are working for?

By whom your work will be checked?

From whom you will purchase this car?

Grammar is trickier and it requires a lot of practice to get well versed in this. Hoping that this lesson on English grammar will help you in your studies. Keep practicing and stay in touch for new grammar topics further.

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