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Thread: who or whom?

  1. #1
    Hanka is offline Senior Member
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    Default who or whom?

    Hi,

    could you please tell me which of these is correct:

    1) we need partners who we can rely on
    2) we need partners whom we can rely on

    My google search suggest that 1) is correct, but why?

    Thank you very much.

    Hanka

  2. #2
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    Post Re: who or whom?

    I had the same doubt a few days ago...http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...-whom-who.html

  3. #3
    Hanka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: who or whom?

    Thanks! But according to the rules in your reference, I would say that 2) is correct. So why does the google search give more results for 1)?

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: who or whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanka View Post
    Thanks! But according to the rules in your reference, I would say that 2) is correct. So why does the google search give more results for 1)?
    Maybe that link has a rather BE view. Searching only UK pages I get:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 720 for "whom we can rely on".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 562 for "who we can rely on".

    Or maybe it's not so much 'a BE view' as a 'formally impeccable' view. What Google picks up is not what is formally impeccable, but what people have typed - regardless of their status as English speakers.

    b

  5. #5
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: who or whom?

    I'd simply skip either 'who' or 'whom' and write:

    We need partners we can rely on.

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    Default Re: who or whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanka View Post
    Thanks! But according to the rules in your reference, I would say that 2) is correct. So why does the google search give more results for 1)?
    do not use Google for this purpose, better "Ask a Teacher"... How can you know that millions of people don't do the same mistake because of slang they used to use?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: who or whom?

    Hanka, when in doubt find the verbs and their subjects. If the WH-wordis a subject, use who; if it's not a subject, use whom:

    Ex: We need partners WH we can rely on.

    Main clause:
    subject, we
    verb, need

    Subordinate clause:
    subject, we
    verb, can rely on

    Prescribed English (What we are told we should use)
    We need partners whom we can rely on.

    Described English (What we actually use)
    We need partners who we can rely on. <specific>
    We need partners that we can rely on. <general>

    Click here, "Whom" has been dying an agonizing death for decadesó

    ______________
    Note that, Google is great search engine; true, its hits reflect spoken and written English, but those hits can't tell you why speakers use a given form or, for that matter, what dialect they're using or whether they're using Standard English or not. So, next time you google, you may want to take that into consideration.

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