I used to work at a PR agency, and I once gave a grammar workshop to all our employees. When I got to the "who vs. whom" part of the presentation and tried to explain the two using parts of speech, one of the women in the room gave me a blank stare and said, "I will never understand parts of speech. Can you please just tell me when to use who and when to use whom so I can just memorize it?"
Nearly everyone in the room nodded along, eager to understand something that clearly had them mystified.
So with that in mind, here you go, plain and simple:
1. If you can classify the person/people you're discussing as HE, SHE, or THEY, use WHO or WHOEVER:
2. If you can classify the person/people you're discussing as HER, HIM, or THEM, use WHOM or WHOMEVER:
I hope this helps those of you who have trouble with parts of speech. Whoever still has questions, feel free to discuss in the comments.
Happy New Year!
Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.
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