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Who Versus Whom

Who and whom are relative pronouns.  As relative pronouns, who and whom rename nouns or other pronouns.


In informal writing and speaking, writers and speakers do not need to worry about when to use who and when to use whom.  Who is always a acceptable when writing and speaking informally. 


When writing and speaking formally, writers and

speakers should be aware of the difference who

and whom.  The difference between the two words

is that who is a subject and whom is an object.


An easy way to decide when who and whom are used is to mentally substitute he/she or him/her in the sentence.  

         If he/she works in the mental substitution, then who is correct.

          If him/her works in the mental substitution, then whom​ is correct.


_____ plans to go to the movies tonight?

           What works here?  

                   He/She plans to go to the movies.

                   Him/Her plans to go to the movies.

           Since He/She works in the sentence, then Who is correct.

Who plans to go to the movies?


_____ do you plan to go to the movies with?  

          What works here?

                   You plan to go to the movies with he/she.

                   You plan to go to the movies with him/her.

          Since him/her works in the sentence, then whom is correct.

Whom do you plan to go to the movies with?

          Whom is correct in this sentence, but the sentence can be made more             formal by keeping the prepositional phrase with whom intact.

With whom do you plan to go to the movies?


The woman _____ wins this match will advance to the finals.

        What works here?

                  he/she wins this match

                  him/her wins this match

        Since he/she works, then who is correct.

The woman who wins this match will advance to the finals.


The player _____ Shoua defeated is no longer in the tournament.

        What works here?

                   Shoua defeated he/she

                   Shoua defeated him/her

        Since him/her works, then whom is correct.

The player whom Shoua defeated is no longer in the tournament. 



Watch this video for further instruction on when to use who and when to use ​whom.