who vs whom

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ARGH.

 

The age old question of who/whom.

 

This matters...to me and to those who/whom need a little help breathing.

 

HELP!

 

Thank you so much!

 

K

who whom asked Dec 18 '13 at 03:47 Kara New member

1 answer


1

Normally this answer is very simple:

"who" serves as the subject

"whom" serves as any type of object

 

Normally, when you have the object of a preposition, you would use "whom".

 

The problem you and so many others have is that you don't know when you use a clause as the object of a preposition or just the pronoun.

 

Example:

Tell it to whomever.

Tell it to whoever said that.

 

Both of the above sentences are correct and the example gives the answer to your question.

"But both of them have the same function, so they should use the same pronoun, right?"

Wrong.

 

"to whomever"--"whomever" is the object of "to"; hence, we use "whom".

"to whoever said that"--the entire clause "whoever said that" is the object.

                                   "whoever" is the subject of the clause; hence, we use "who".

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In your sentence,

"...to me and to those who/whom need a little help..."

 

The entire phrase is "to those who/whom need a little help..."

"to" is the preposition

"those" is the object of the preposition

"who/whom need a little help" is an adjective clause clarifying "those".

 

Can you tell which we will use now?

 

 

who!

Because it is the subject of the clause and not the object of the preposition.

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To use "whom", make it the object.

 

"...give help to me and to whomever." (Object of "to")

"Of whom do you speak?"  (Object of "of")

"I will punch whomever I like." (Direct Object)

"I will give whomever the bill." (Indirect Object)

link comment edited Dec 18 '13 at 12:45 Aaron Prejean Expert

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