Posted by: episystechpubs | January 30, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Who vs. Whom

Good morning, everyone! I have returned from yesterday’s Olympic tangent as promised, with a little trick for figuring out when to use who vs. whom. Instead of getting into the subject and direct object discussion, we’re going to head straight to the “he/him” trick that many people use to get to the right answer.

The He/Him Trick

he = who

him =whom

You are facing the question, “Should I use who or whom in this case?” Ask yourself whether the answer to your question would be he or him. If the answer is “he,” then you use “who.” If the answer is “him,” you use “whom.”

Examples:

Who/whom broke the vase?

He broke the vase. (Not “Him broke the vase.”) Therefore, who is correct.

For who/whom does the bell toll?

The bell tolls for him. Therefore, whom is correct.

We all know who/whom won the gold medal.

He won the gold medal. Therefore, who is correct.

Does anyone know to who/whom the gold medal was given?

The gold medal was given to him. Therefore, whom is correct.

Now, apply this rule to other examples and see how you do. You can try either of these quizzes and sites for more information: Grammar Girl or the Grammar Monster.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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