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  1. Newbie
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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
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      • Bulgaria
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      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    #1

    for whom

    I want to ask which is the most correct form:
    For whom should I inform?
    or
    Whom should I inform for?

    i don't know what to say when I have to transfer a phone call. I have to find out who is on the phone and to inform the boss who is waiting on the line, but when it is a foreign language speaker I don't know how to ask.
    Please help me.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Member Info
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      • Portuguese
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      • Tuvalu
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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    #2

    Re: for whom

    I'd like to know the answer.
    just a student.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #3

    Re: for whom

    Quote Originally Posted by vania85 View Post
    I want to ask which is the most correct form:
    For whom should I inform?
    or
    Whom should I inform for?

    i don't know what to say when I have to transfer a phone call. I have to find out who is on the phone and to inform the boss who is waiting on the line, but when it is a foreign language speaker I don't know how to ask.
    Please help me.
    Thanks in advance.
    Who shall I say is calling?

    OR

    May I have your name?

  2. mkss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2008
    • Posts: 69
    #4

    Thumbs up Re: for whom

    In my view, you should leave out for in your question (for grammatical reasons), so the correct answer would be:

    Who(m) should I inform (of/about something)?

    who is also correct but whom is more formal.
    As inform is a transitive verb, it needs an object. In this case, the object is whom; because if you answer the question:

    You should inform your boss.
    (Inform=verb="action")
    (your boss=direct object; that is "the thing/person affected by the action").

    This explanation was given because, normally, you can only use whom as a direct object.




    I can't come up with a formulaic phrase right now for you to ask "who is calling?" politely, but

    Who is calling/speaking/telephoning?
    Who is on the telephone?

    or

    To whom would you like to be transferred?
    Who would you like to be transferred to? (more informal)

    may really sound polite as long as you ask them with the proper intonation.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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      • UK
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    #5

    Re: for whom

    Quote Originally Posted by mkss View Post
    In my view, you should leave out for in your question (for grammatical reasons), so the correct answer would be:

    ...




    I can't come up with a formulaic phrase right now for you to ask "who is calling?" politely, but

    Who is calling/speaking/telephoning?
    Who is on the telephone?

    or

    To whom would you like to be transferred?
    Who would you like to be transferred to? (more informal)

    may really sound polite as long as you ask them with the proper intonation.
    Yes, the 'for' changes the meaning to a very specific (and unlikely) context. One meaning of "inform" is 'give evidence against'. So 'Who(m) should I inform for' means 'on whose behalf should contact the authorities with incriminating information' - not very likely


    On the second point, I've heard and used this formula: 'Who shall I say is calling' - which makes it clear that you aren't asking for any personal gain, which seems to me to make it sound more polite.

    b

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