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What is a quick reference to tell students when considering usage of who vs. whom?

RE:What is a quick reference to tell students when considering usage of who vs. whom[edit]

It is easy to tell students to replace the word with he, she or they--if it works, then they should use "who." If it sounds correct by using him, her or them--then use "whom."

Example: The students were ready to graduate, who had already given a speech.

The students were ready to graduate, they had already given a speech. The students were ready to graduate, them had already given a speech.

It is easy to see that the second choice is incorrect.

Whom goes with the "m" words: him, them. Him goes with her: him and her. Who goes with the non "m" words: he, they. He goes with she: he and she. (talk) 07:13, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't say "should". "who" can be used both as subject and object. "whom" can be used only as object. Some people might consider using "who" as object to be wrong, but it's widely used so it can't be wrong, and it would be wrong to make it seem like it is wrong. —CodeCat 17:06, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

From RFC[edit]

Translations are a mess and a half. --Connel MacKenzie T C 20:49, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I thought inflected forms didn't get translations? — Vildricianus 20:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
The controversy there was whether to include translations on all inflected forms (and so far, I seem to have lost the argument for them.) But we've almost always had translations for particularly thorny inflected forms like this. --Connel MacKenzie T C 00:01, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Can it be plural?[edit]

Can the term "whom" be used in plural?

Which of the following sentences is correct?

1. There are ten students, who are to receive their diplomas next month.

2. There are ten students, whom are to receive their diplomas next month. 23:19, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

1. is correct because who is the nominative and is both singular and plural.

2. is incorrect because whom is accusative (object) case but should be the subject of receive.

But whom is both singular and plural. "The ten students whom you will give the diplomas to will be grateful" is correct. Actually usage of "whom" is coming to be considered affected in the US and to a lesser extent elsewhere among younger speakers, especially. DCDuring TALK 23:49, 14 June 2008 (UTC)


isn't que the equivalent of whom (at least as a reflexive pronoun)? K kisses 13:22, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

You have to give an example sentence in English so we can see what you are talking about. —Stephen (Talk) 16:15, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

whom cleanup[edit]

I did a cleanup of the usage notes on this page. It had an RFC, however it was in the template.

I decided here was the best place to start. Firstly, the template is also used for whoever and whomever, which means the material about whomever overcomplicates the whom entry which is already tricky. Secondly, the template is long-winded resulting in long paragraphs.

Who, whoever, whomever, etc. are still using the template and this will need to be looked at. I would suggest having just a who vs. whom template and have whoever vs. whomever separate, possibly as a template too.

Definitely the usage examples that I added should be in a template, whether the who vs. whom one or a different one. Possibly it should be a separate page? It'd be nice to get comment from someone more experienced here. Sabretoof 11:34, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

whom is formal[edit]

To some speakers (especially in US English) the use of whom is characteristic of a formal style. To some of these speakers, whom may sound stilted in informal conversation.

Replace with:

Most speakers find "whom" to be rather formal, if not antiquated, especially in conversation.

Denishowe (talk) 22:27, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

I guess that's shorter, yeah, but why drop the (especially in US English)? 00:13, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Common or not common[edit]

I don't know about the situation overseas, but in Britain and Ireland "whom" is very common in formal writing, but very rare in normal speech (except possibly if directly following a preposition). This clear distinction isn't really reflected in the entry. It even says: "To some speakers (especially in the US) 'whom' characteristic of a formal style." To whom would it not be characteristic of a formal style? And why is the interrogative pronoun labelled "formal", and not the relative pronoun? I don't think there's any difference between these two. Bottom line: It's always formal.

This is nothing else than anecdotal evidence. "Some speakers", "most speakers", "in Britain is very common" etc. are quite unproven and misguiding. Much better would be have an info about usage of who/whom in different dialects, geographical areas or among the different social groups. -- 14:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

RFC discussion: September 2010[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup (permalink).

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

I did a cleanup on the whom page, whose template was RFCed in 2009 but didn't seem to get added here, so I'm not sure whether to use that date or the current one. In any case, for the moment I changed the whom page to not use the template and cleaned it all up, more on Talk:whom. Sabretoof 11:41, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Please add this citation[edit]

I can't tell which sense it goes under.

  • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
    Another misfortune which befel [sic] poor Sophia was the company of Lord Fellamar, whom she met at the opera, and who attended her to the drum.

Equinox 15:57, 26 April 2017 (UTC)