This blog was featured on 01/29/2018
Refresher on WHO Vs. WHOM
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
26 days ago
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
26 days ago

I get that many (most?) people hate the "who vs. whom" thing, are convinced they'll never understand it, and wish it would just go away forever.

If you fall into that group, here's a simple way to look at "who vs. whom" that might shed some light: If in a similar structure you would use the pronouns I, HE, SHE, WE, or THEY, use WHO. 

To illustrate, the following are similar structures:

  • WE live on that street. We are the people WHO live on that street.
  • THEY went to the movies. They are the people WHO went to the movies.
  • SHE will do a great job. She is someone WHO will do a great job.
  • HE wrote the novel. He is the man WHO wrote the novel.

If in a similar structure you would use the pronouns ME, HIM, HER, US, or THEM, use WHOM.

Again, to illustrate, the following are similar structures:

  • You can trust ME. I am someone WHOM you can trust.
  • You believe HER. She is a person WHOM you believe.
  • You saw THEM at the movies. They are the ones WHOM you saw at the movies.
  • You chose US to babysit your kids. We are the people WHOM you chose to babysit your kids.

While the above examples are straightforward, it's easy to get tripped up by more complicated sentences such as:

  • She is someone WHO I believe will do a great job.

It's understandable to want to use WHOM in this example, because it's followed by "I believe." But you're not believing HER, you're believing that SHE will do a good job.

Rearrange that sentence, and the correct answer becomes clear:

  • I believe she is someone WHO will do a good job.

I hope that helps clear up the confusion!

-Maria

Maria Murnane writes bestselling novels about life, love and friendship. Have questions? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2018 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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