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Thread: who or whom?


    • Join Date: Jul 2005
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    #1

    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


    • Join Date: May 2007
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    #2

    Post Re: who or whom?

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


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    #3

    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)?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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      • English Teacher
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      • English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #4

    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

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    #5

    Re: who or whom?

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

    We need partners we can rely on.


    • Join Date: Apr 2007
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    #6

    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?

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #7

    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 decades

    ______________
    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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