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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Relative Pronouns    

Relative Pronouns

Korea, South

Relative Pronouns
Can anyone tell me how to explain the difference between whom and who? I know how to use them but I have no idea how to explain how to use them Tongue.
Thanks in advance! Happy Friday for those who are making their way through their Fridays!

20 Nov 2009      



20 Nov 2009     


 "Whom" is an object and "who" is a subject:
 Whom did you see? = You saw whom? -- I saw Peter (Peter=object)
 Who is Peter? = here there ´s no inversion as "who" is the subject
 Hope this helps :=)
 Regards from Spain,

20 Nov 2009     


Hello Boombox5,

I also want to give a simple explanation about "WHO" and "WHOM".

Who is a subject pronoun, in the same way as ´he / she / they ´.
Who is use for PERSON
Example:Who did you see?
Whom is an object pronoun, in the same way as ´him / her / them ´.
´Whom ´ is the object of a verb.
Example: Whom did you see?
(Whom is very formal and not often used in spoken English.)

20 Nov 2009     

Korea, South

wow, thanks guys, makes sense now although I am still trying to wrap my head around what is a subject and object Stern Smile whom is especially difficult for me cause i rarely ever use it. i wrote a formal email this morning and started it with, to whom it may concern but I think this is really the only time i ever use ´whom ´.

20 Nov 2009     


I predict that in 20 years time, whom will have ceased to exist. Language is alive and changing continually; modern speakers hardly ever use whom and even in writing, not using whom has become accepted (with the possible exclusion of essays and formal tests).

20 Nov 2009     

alien boy

& PhilipR isn ´t the only one who thinks so. Most of the contemporary writers on English linguistics (e.g. Swann) believe the same.

20 Nov 2009     

United States

I don ´t even teach "whom" anymore.  I just let my students know they may hear it sometimes, but who is always acceptable and whom is being "phased out".  
Okay, I do tell them that whom is for asking about the object vs who being for the subject.
>Boombox--(in simplest terms) the subject does the action and the object receives the action

20 Nov 2009     


Native speakers rarely use ´whom ´ any more.  An exception is when you write "To whom it may concern"

20 Nov 2009     



20 Nov 2009