Who vs. Whom

Today I learned about when to use the pronouns who vs. whom. I never really understood when to use the word whom, so I usually just used the word who for everything. I learned today, that I am not always being grammatically correct when I just use the word who. Grammar girl explained that there are subjects in every sentence, and there are objects. The subject of the sentence is the person doing something, and the object of the sentence is having something done to them. Use whom when you are referring to the object of a sentence. She also came up with a really helpful tip on when to use which word. If you can answer a question with him, or her as the answer, then you would use the word whom. Ex: Whom do you love? The answer would be: I love him, or her. You know to use who, when the answer to a question can be he, or she. Ex: Who stepped on squiggly? The answer would be: He or she stepped on squiggly. Not him or her stepped on Squiggly. It’s surprising how easy it is, when you just think of those examples. I wish grammar girl would have given some more examples, because not every question can be answered with he, she, him, or her. Grammar girl’s explanation is a lot better than my brief explanation above, so I definitely encourage everyone to check out her site if you are still having trouble deciding when to use the words who or whom.

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~ by necottom on January 23, 2010.

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