When to Use Who and Whom

I thought it time to nobble this particular English language conundrum – when to use Who and when to use Whom.

Supaproofread has a section that goes into far more detail than I will here on this post and you can find it in the writing tips section here.

Who is a subjective pronoun that describes what or which person.

Whom is a pronoun that acts as an object for a verb or preceding preposition.

Phew!

In plain English please!!

A subjective pronoun is a word that is used when the person is a subject of the sentence. So, “I like fast cars but he doesn’t” – “I” and “he” are subjective pronouns. We would ask “Who likes fast cars?” but not “Whom likes fast cars?”

A verb object is the person or thing the verb is acting on. So, “ERH flew the plane” has ERH as the subject, the verb is flying and the object is the plane. Except we would never refer to a plane as “whom” so how about “ERH flew her to Paris.” In the latter case, “her” would be the object and so we would ask “With whom did ERH fly to Paris?”

Got that?

Here’s a cheat tip then.

If you have a sentence using he/she then use “Who” and if it is him/her use “Whom”.