Oh, I've had days like that, too.Originally Posted by dave_mwi
The computer parses linearly, so, for example, if it's programmed to 'look for' subject+verb+object structures, wherein "who" comes before the verb and "whom" comes after the verb, then, given a sentence like, "Tell it to whomever lost the book", the computer will pick up on what appears to be faulty word-order, notably 'whom', an object pronoun, comes before the verb 'lost'. But the computer, as I mentioned, parses linearly, which is its major downfall because Human languages are not linear. The correct sentence is,
Tell it to whomever lost the book.
The reason being, the preposition 'to' requires an object, so 'whom-' is the correct choice. As for the verb 'lost', well, 'whom-' is not its subject. To find its subject we have to add in what has taken an efficient system years to omit (...)
Tell it to whomever (it was who) lost the book.
'who' is the subject of 'lost'.
As for a grammar source, well, there are a ton on-line. Look for who versus whom. The rule states that 'whom' is used after a preposition. Note, a word cannot have more than one function. It's either the object of a preposition or it's the subject of the verb. If it's headed by a preposition, it's always an object. Don't let the following verb fool you.
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