Easily Figure Out When To Use "Who" Or "Whom"

September 4, 2019

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We all know of someone who is a stickler for the use of proper English and one of the biggest conundrums of communications is knowing when to use "who" or "whom." While not necessary with a casual conversation, it is important in business emails, published works and when talking with your persnickety pals.  So here's an easy way to figure out if you should be using "who" or "whom."  Mentally swap out the “who” or “whom” in your sentence with "he" or "him." If "he" sounds right, you should use "who." If "him" sounds right, go with "whom." For example, in "Who Let The Dogs Out," if you replace “who” with “he” there, you get the equally intelligible sentence, "He Let The Dogs Out." Since you wouldn’t say “Him let the dogs out,” you shouldn’t say “Whom let the dogs out.” Equally, you'd say, "whom will you invite to dinner?" because the subject is you and the person you invite is the object and with a little restructuring the question into a statement, “you will invite him to dinner” sounds better than "you will invite he to dinner.”  You can definitely substitute who and whom with other pronoun combinations like she and her or they and them if you’d rather, but the reason he and him work so well is because they sound similar to who and whom.

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SOURCE: Mental Floss

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