Who vs whom: part 2
Ready? Brain engaged? 🧠
Whom is used as the OBJECT of the sentence (both directly and indirectly).
Think of ‘whom’ as: me, him, her, us, them.
👀Whom did you see?
💘My boyfriend, whom I love so much, has just bought me a pizza oven. 🍕
🚗My personal chauffeur, whom we just hired, failed to show up to work today.
Think of ‘Whom’ as a person, but a far lazier person than ‘Who’, who spent the first post making and eating lots of cakes.
Things seem to happen to ‘Whom’ without them having to ‘do’ anything much.
👀Whom did you see? > Whom is being seen here, not doing the seeing.
💖💘Whom I love so much > Whom is being loved, not doing the loving (….selfish).
👨✈️Whom we just hired > Whom has been hired, not doing the hiring.
❗❗Top tip: when in doubt, substitute me / him / her / us / them (but rearrange the word order) like this:
❓Who / whom should I call first? > should I call her first? vs: should I call she first?
Which one sounds right? Yep:
✅should I call her first = whom should I call first?
Who / whom ate my sandwich? > he ate my sandwich? vs: him ate my sandwich?
Which one sounds right?
✅He ate my sandwich = who ate my sandwich?
I could go on.
However, two final thoughts:
🟣 If you think the ‘whom’ examples sound awkward or a bit prim, you are not alone**. Most people don’t use ‘whom’ in casual speech or writing and THAT IS OK! Some people only use it in well-established phrases such as ‘to whom it may concern’ and THAT IS OK. It is more and more acceptable to read and hear sentences like this: 👇👇
Who do you believe? (it should be: whom do you believe, because: I believe her)
🟣If you are going to use ‘whom’ and ‘who’, GET IT RIGHT and BE CONSISTENT. ✅✅
Using it ‘to sound posh’ doesn’t work if you’re going to get it wrong. It has the completely opposite effect and lets your message down.
**If I’m being honest, I don’t really like using ‘whom’ but if I do use it, I always run through the substitute scenario in my head first to check it. If you want to use it but aren’t sure – I am sure. I can help you.