from Grammarly Blog
Grammar Basics: How to Use “Whom”
Whom is one of the most confusing pronouns. Many people wonder how to use it. Is it a subject? Is it an object? Here are the simple answers.
- Whom is not a subject.
- Whom can be the direct object of a verb.
- Whom did the waiter serve first? (The waiter served whom first?)
- Whom is also used in a relative clause that describes a noun that is an object.
*The company hired the musician whom I recommended.
- Whom can serve as the object of a preposition.
*With whom does Belinda plan to go to the dance?
*The man from whom Alexis received the letter works at the supermarket.
- In casual speech and writing, people usually use who even when whom is technically correct. If you are still a little confused, try the substitution trick to determine whether to use who or whom. Mentally answer whom questions with the pronouns “him” or “her.”
*To whom does this pen belong? The pen belongs to him. This response makes sense, so whom is correct.
*Whom is coming to the party on Saturday? Her is coming. This reply does not sound right. You should replace whom with who.
- If you are still unsure, you are not alone. Not many people have a good mastery of this puzzling pronoun. Read about why it’s so hard to master in “Why Do So Many People Incorrectly Use Whom?”