Who or Whom?

Whom thinks that he knows how to use who/whom? Or is it Who thinks he knows how to use who/whom? Who and whom can plague writers, which explains why the use of “whom” is dying out in writing. Actually, it is quite easy to know when to use who and when to use whom. All you need to do is this:

Rewrite the sentence and ask yourself, “Would I use he or would I use him?” If it’s he, use who. If it’s him, use whom.

Here are some examples.

The man whom/who wanted the leather stovepipe hat said he would return in two hours to purchase it. (If you rewrote the sentence, it would say, “He wanted the leather stovepipe hat.” Since you would use he, who is the correct word to use. “The man who wanted the leather stovepipe hat said he would return in two hours to purchase it.”)

The man who/whom we spoke about is a banker. (If you rewrote the sentence, it would say, “We spoke about him.” Since you would use him, whom is the correct word. “The man whom we spoke about is a banker.”)

This also works for the ladies as well. If you would use she, use who. If it’s her, use whom.

It was Miss Falcon who/whom dropped her lace fan on the floor. (If you rewrote the sentence, it would say, “She dropped her lace fan on the floor.” Since you would use she, who is the correct word. “It was Miss Falcon who dropped her lace fan on the floor.”)

The lady who/whom Mr. Smith saw purchasing a vase is engaged to Mr. Phelps. (If you rewrote the sentence, it would say, “Mr. Smith saw her” Since you would use her, whom is the correct word. “The lady whom Mr. Smith saw purchasing a vase is engaged to Mr. Phelps.”)

A quick way I remember this is:

whom = him     who=he                 

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