which should i use who or whom

See example:

For so long I was terrified to look at who I was.
asked Jun 10 '13 at 16:26 jaime New member

3 answers


There’s a simple test for determining whether to use “I” or “me” i.e. “Jane and I/Me are going to the movies.” Most people know to remove the second party: buh-bye Jane. Whichever of the two sounds right: I am going to the movies or Me are going to the movies is how you decide. Obviously in this case the correct pronoun is “I.”

There is a similar test for who/whom. These two oft-confused words are subject/object driven, but there is a similar test that’s easy and usually right. Beyond the obvious “The ladies playing Bingo, two of whom are experts, had a good time.” Sounds right, is right. Then try “Who forgot to do the dishes?” Sounds right, is right.

Your test is to substitute he/him or she/her for the personal pronoun in place of who/whom. If he/she makes sense, use who. If him or her makes sense, it’s whom.

There are boatloads of sites that address this question, it is in the top-10 of grammar questions.

link comment edited Jun 11 '13 at 02:12 Brother Dave Contributor

 Oops! Forgot to answer the actual question. Now that you know how to make the determination, what do you think? *"Jeopardy” theme* It's who! Why, because

“For so long I was terrified to look at who he was,” makes sense.

“For so long I was terrified to look at who him was,” doesn’t.

There are other rules, but by applying the above and listening to your ear, you’ll be correct 90% of the time. (For the other, more complicated rules, Google it.)

link comment edited Jun 11 '13 at 02:14 Brother Dave Contributor

"Who" is correct. In this instance, "who" is used in place of the subject of the action (the person carrying out the action) - for example: "Max is the person who went dancing" (Max did the dancing). Wheareas "whom" is the object of the action (or "the victim" of the action as I like to remember it) - for example: "Andrew apologised to the girl into whom he crashed while rollerblading" (the poor girl got crashed into - she didn't do the crashing herself). You were the author of who you became - therefore, you are the subject of the action in your example above.


Another point to note is that when good grammar is used, "whom" often follows a preposition (to/for/from/with/of, etc.) - for example: "Max is the man with whom I went dancing." This could also be written (using poor grammar) as: "Max is the man whom I went dancing with." "Who" should never follow a preposition.

link comment answered Jun 11 '13 at 00:16 Kerry Bonnie New member

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