- whome (obsolete)
From Middle English whom, wham, whem, from Old English hwām, hwǣm, from Proto-Germanic *hwammai, dative case of *hwaz (“who, what”). Cognate with Scots quhom, quham, quhem (“whom”), German wem (“whom, to whom”), Danish hvem (“who, whom”), Swedish vem (“who, whom”).
- What person or people; which person or people, as the object of a verb.
- Whom did you ask?
- 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XVIII, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855, page “Oh?” she said. “So you have decided to revise my guest list for me? You have the nerve, the – the –” I saw she needed helping out. “Audacity,” I said, throwing her the line. “The audacity to dictate to me who I shall have in my house.” It should have been “whom”, but I let it go. “You have the –” “Crust.” “– the immortal rind,” she amended, and I had to admit it was stronger, “to tell me whom” – she got it right that time – “I may entertain at Brinkley Court and who” – wrong again – “I may not.”:
- What person or people; which person or people, as the object of a preposition.
- To whom are you referring? With whom were you talking?
- 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter I, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855, page “A very hearty pip-pip to you, old ancestor,” I said, well pleased, for she is a woman with whom it is always a privilege to chew the fat. “And a rousing toodle-oo to you, you young blot on the landscape,” she replied cordially.:
- Him; her; them (used as a relative pronoun to refer to a previously mentioned person or people.)
- He's a person with whom I work.; We have ten employees, half of whom are carpenters.
- 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, in Death on the Centre Court:
- “Anthea hasn't a notion in her head but to vamp a lot of silly mugwumps. She's set her heart on that tennis bloke […] whom the papers are making such a fuss about.”
- 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter I, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855, page The eminent brain specialist to whom she alluded was a man I would not have cared to lunch with myself, our relations having been on the stiff side since the night at Lady Wickham's place in Hertfordshire when, acting on the advice of my hostess's daughter Roberta, I had punctured his hot-water bottle with a darning needle in the small hours of the morning. Quite unintentional, of course.:
- Who is a subject pronoun. Whom is an object pronoun. To determine whether a particular sentence uses a subject or an object pronoun, rephrase it to use she/he or her/him instead of who, whom; if you use she, then you use the subject pronoun who; if you use her, then you use the object pronoun.
- Who can also be used as an object pronoun, especially in informal writing and speech (hence one hears not only whom are you waiting for? but also who are you waiting for?), and whom may be seen as (overly) formal; in some dialects and contexts, it is hardly used, even in the most formal settings. As an exception to this, fronted prepositional phrases almost always use whom, e.g. one usually says with whom did you go?, not *with who did you go?. However, dialects where whom is infrequently used usually avoid fronting prepositional phrases in the first place, except for in fossilised phrases.
- The use of who as an object pronoun is proscribed by many authorities, but is frequent nonetheless.
Subject (always who):
- Who ate my sandwich?
- There is the thief who ate my sandwich.
- i.e. The thief ate my sandwich.
- Who(m) did you see?
- I saw an old friend who(m) I had not seen for years.
- i.e. I saw an old friend.
- Who(m) are you giving your apple to?
- She is the angel who(m) I'm giving my apple to.
- To whom are you giving your apple? (fronted prepositional phrase, almost always whom)
- She is the angel to whom I'm giving my apple.
- i.e. I'm giving my apple to her.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.