PSLE English

Should you use whom or who?

Notes from the video ‘Diffusion| PSLE English Grammar |Whom vs Who‘ :

When do we use “Who” and “Whom”?

If you are like most people, you know that there’s a difference between them.

But do you know what the difference is?

We use “who” as a subject. If someone asks:

Who made these pancakes?

The person who made the pancakes is the subject of the sentence.

Whom is used as the object of a verb or preposition. When someone ask:

Whom do you like?

You may respond by saying, “I like Tom”

so “Tom”, or the person you like, becomes the object.


Here’s how you know when the pronoun is the object of a verb or a noun:

Try substituting the answer to the question with “he” or “she” and “him” or “her”.

If “he” or “she” sounds correct, you should use who.

If “him” or “her” sounds correct, you should use whom.


Let’s take a look at this sentence:

Who/Whom took my watch?

Which answer sounds more appropriate?

She took my watch.

or Her took my watch?

The first answer “she” is the correct. So, you should use “Who”.


Let’s look at another sentence:

Who/Whom should I ask about this?

 Which answer sounds more appropriate?

You should ask her.

You should ask she.

The first answer is correct. So, you should use “Whom”.


If you think the example with “whom” sounds awkward, you are not alone. Most people normally don’t use whom in their writing or conversations.


Other related content:

In to vs Into
Affect VS Effect



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