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    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #1

    When to use who or whom?

    Do you use who before the verb and whom after the verb?

    Thanks.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by crussell View Post
    Do you use who before the verb and whom after the verb?

    Thanks.
    It would be nice if it were that simple.

    Use "who" when it is the subject of a verb in a sentence or clause.
    Use "whom" when it is the object of a verb or a preposition.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #3

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    To clarify:

    Subject: Who greased that vine? (Tarzan's famous last words)
    Answer: He did.

    Object: Whom did you see that night?
    Answer: I saw him.

    However: "Whom" is now seen as old-fashioned. You'll find most speakers now use "who" all the time. So for good, modern, idiomatic English, you don't need to worry about the difference at all.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    To clarify:

    Subject: Who greased that vine? (Tarzan's famous last words)
    Answer: He did.

    Object: Whom did you see that night?
    Answer: I saw him.

    However: "Whom" is now seen as old-fashioned. You'll find most speakers now use "who" all the time. So for good, modern, idiomatic English, you don't need to worry about the difference at all.
    Do you really think that most speakers use "who" after a preposition?

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    #5

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    It's alive and well after a preposition, but the trend seems to be to put the preposition at the end, except in formal usage. Very rarely do I hear someone say 'From whom did you buy it?', but I read 'to whom' and so on.

  4. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    I think when the preposition is in the end is very easy for teaching English. The students easily give the answers and don't make mistakes.


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #7

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    Hi,
    Can the Dative whom substitute who to?
    Who did you give the money?

  5. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    Can the Dative whom substitute who to?
    Who did you give the money?
    Yes, because in my native language it's the same and even sounds like "whom". But as I wrote above it's better to say "Who did you give the money to?"

  6. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #9

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    "Who did you give the money?" doesn't sound right to me.

    I think you need to be careful with labels. English doesn't have much of a case system left, and those old-fashioned text-books that talk about "dative" and "accusative" are, in my experience, making things a bit more complicated than they need to be.

    "Whom" is not a "dative", it is an objective pronoun. "To who(m)" is also not a dative, it is the preposition "to" followed by an objective pronoun.

    With verbs like "give", the indirect object is usually placed between the verb and the direct object -- and if it's a pronoun, the objective form is used. If the indirect object is put anywhere else, it is indicated with a preposition.

    Sally gave Peter the book.
    Sally gave the book to Peter.
    To whom did Sally give the book? (Old-fashioned, very formal)
    Who did Sally give the book to? (Modern, idiomatic)

    Richard invited Mary to the party. (With "invite", you can't put the indirect object first)
    Who(m) did Mary invite to the party?


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #10

    Re: When to use who or whom?

    As Russian has 6 cases, it's not at all difficult for us to determine whether whom is accusative or dative, Rewboss. We can't help using our native linguistic experience, which is much more often a hindrance, but sometimes it helps.
    I don't insist all ESLs should differentiate between them, but I don't understand why you are so categorical (we all need to be careful with lables ).
    You can't possibly deny it in I gave it to Mom and I gave it (a dog) a piece of bread reflects different relations between the subject and the object.

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