have a look at this
Interested in Language
I would like to know why the question words in blue in the following sentences are not "Whom" but "Who".
Who does he think he is ?
Who would you like to be?
Thank you for your help.
I understand it's a matter of subject and object in deciding the use of who or whom. But what I would like to know is whether the use of "Who"(I think they should be "Whom") in the sentences I cited earlier is normally used in spoken English rather than in formal writing.
The use of 'Whom' in spoken English has slipped out of use, being replaced in most instances by Who.
"Proper" or not, there is an argument to be made that on either side of the verb "to be" you use the nominative "who." Remember it used to be proper to say "It is I" not "it is me," so "He thinks he is who" would actually be the more correct version according to that rule.
I think so. They're not exactly natural things to say, but maybe you're auditioning for a play and someone asks you what part you want to play. You say you want to play a part that seems out of character for you, and the person responds with surprise: You want to be who? Not really standard sentence structure, but believable enough as something spoken.
The point is that we use whom to change the subject of the sentence from one to another, along with the verb:
Was I the person (subject 1) to whom he (subject 2) was referring?
In your given examples, the same person is in question throughout...