The two words, “who” and “whom”, are some of the most confused words in the English language. Many a times, we even get confused with the word “whose”. The primary problem faced by a native or foreign English speaker or writer, is where are the words mentioned above to be used. Also, how to ascertain which word goes with what.

Something to Know before Discussing “Who” and “Whom”

Now, before we get into the understanding of “who” and “whom”, you must be aware of the subject and object positions or pronouns.

Subjects in a sentence are those things, objects or people which do an action. Whereas, the object in a sentence is a thing, object or a person who receives an action.

Differentiating between “Who” and “Whom”

Who

The word “who” is actually used to point at a person. This word is used for “his” or “her”. Therefore, it is always used in subject position in a sentence. Also, to check whether you can use “who” or not, you can always replace the word “who” in the sentence with “him” or “her” or with “he” or “she”. So, if the sentence makes sense after the replacement, you can use the word.

Examples

  • Who will be bringing the food tomorrow?” Sheena asked before leaving.
  • Who would do this job efficiently?
  • Who ate my ice-cream?” yelled the younger sibling.

Whom

The word “whom” is usually used in the object position, and after a preposition in formal cases. Also, the word is used to ask who received the action.

Examples

  • Whom would you call this late at night? Who do you think will help us at this stage!” yelled my friend.
  • Whom should I talk to about this application?” the new student asked a teacher.
  • I don’t know whom to talk to about this matter.