I know this is one of the niggling questions that sticks in the back of writers’ minds while writers are writing. Did I just say that? Actually, I have to admit that it’s one of the questions that has played around in the back of this writer’s/editor’s mind while I’m writing. If you say you’ve never questioned yourself when deciding to write either who or whom… I don’t believe you. Just saying.
The question of who or whom has been a cantankerous issue from time.
I’m gong to give a quick Cliff Notes version here. I’m hoping that this post will be able to serve as a resource that someone can look up quickly any time in the future.
The long and the short of it is… whether you use “who” or “whom” depends on whether you’re referring to the subject or object of a sentence.
“Whom” is an objective pronoun, like “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.” You use it when the pronoun is the object of a clause.
“Who” is a subjective pronoun, like “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause.
So, essentially, what you need to remember is to substitute “who” for “she” or “he,” and substitute “whom” for “her” or “him.”
And that is that. How about it, WG2E folks? Has the who vs. whom thing caused any annoyance over the course of your writing life?