who vs whom after a preposition and when the verb needs a noun


Do I choose who or whom in these sentences:

She will give this report to whom looks honest.

Leon discusses politics with whoever is unfortunate enough to sit next to him.

the objects, to and with, need the preposition whom. The verbs, looks and is, need the subject who.


See example:

she will give this report to whom looks honest.
asked Jul 24 '13 at 01:56 Sherrie Thompson New member

1 answer


Good morning, Sherrie.


I first read your question too quickly and didn't understand what you were asking.  I ended up going back to my grammar books to double check the information I'm about to share with you.  This is not an uncommon problem among those writers educated enough to care about the proper grammar of their sentences.


From Grammar by Diagram (2nd ed) by Cindy L. Vitto:

At first glance, it would appear that "whomever" should be the correct choice because it follows a preposition.  However, the object of the preposition is actually the entire noun clause, not just a word.  And inside the noun clause, a subject -- "whoever" -- is necessary.

What she is saying is that the object of the preposition "to" is not simply the first word following, it is the entire clause -- who looks honest.  Likewise, I believe the pattern holds for your second sentence and it would be "with whoever."


Thanks for getting me back into my books.  I enjoyed this question, and I hope I helped you.

link comment answered Jul 24 '13 at 07:22 Neznayou New member

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