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    #1

    Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    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.

  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    have a look at this
    Google

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    #3

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    have a look at this
    Google
    Thank you maricobarbalho.
    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.


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    #4

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    The use of 'Whom' in spoken English has slipped out of use, being replaced in most instances by Who.

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    #5

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    Quote Originally Posted by grandada View Post
    The use of 'Whom' in spoken English has slipped out of use, being replaced in most instances by Who.
    It has not slipped out of use by people who like to speak properly.
    It has not slipped out of use by people to whom speaking properly is important.

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    #6

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    "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.

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    #7

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    "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.
    Thank you, Barb_D. I buy this.
    Who does he think he is ? =He thinks he is who, as you said.
    Does it follow that "Who would you like to be?" =You would like to be who?

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    #8

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    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.

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    #9

    Re: Question on "Who" versus "Whom"

    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...

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