Many native English speakers use who instead of whom in conversation in an attempt to sound more formal. However, this mistake can backfire in writing, as it makes the writer sound less educated.
Getting the difference between who and whom right is essential for any writer. Understanding how these relative pronouns work in a sentence will help you avoid the common error of using who when it should be whom.
Who is the Subject
It may seem like a lost battle to keep who and whom straight in questions and statements, but knowing the difference can make you sound more educated in formal writing. ProWritingAid’s grammar checker can help you identify when you should use who or whom by checking whether the pronoun fits as the subject of a sentence.
If you’re not sure whether you should use who or whom, try substituting the subjective pronoun he or she for it. If he or she sounds right, you should use who. Otherwise, use whom.
Some native English speakers use whom incorrectly in informal conversation, but this error can backfire in formal writing and could make you sound less educated. Use who when the subject is performing actions, and whom when the object of a verb or preposition is being referred to. Hopefully, this guide will help you keep who and whom straight in your writing! Good luck! And if you need any additional help, please contact us at ProWritingAid.
Who is the Object
A common mistake people make is using who when it should be whom. This is a simple error that can make your writing sound less professional. It can also lead to confusion when the sentence is being read aloud.
The easy way to decide whether to use who or whom is to think of the pronoun as a subject of a verb or preposition. If the subject can be replaced by he or she, you should use who. If the sentence can be rephrased into a statement by replacing the subject with him or her, you should use whom.
This rule may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to remember in practice. With a little effort, you can master the difference between who and whom to make your writing more professional. Using Grammarly’s Who Vs Whom checker can help you go from someone who often mistakes these two words to a writer for whom this mistake never occurs.
Who is the Relative Pronoun
The pronouns who, whom, and that are called relative pronouns because they introduce dependent clauses that are linked to the independent clause they identify. They are used in questions and statements to substitute for a subject or object. The subjects of these clauses can be people, things, or animals. The objects of these clauses are the ones that will be affected by the action being performed.
The best way to remember when to use who or whom is by using a simple trick: If you can replace the word with he, she, or it, then you should use who. If you can’t, then you should use whom.
It is important to understand these grammar rules, especially when writing formal documents or emails. Keeping who and whom straight will help you present your ideas with the correct grammar and syntax. It will also make you sound more polished and professional in your writing. So, pay attention to your whos and whoms, and you’ll be a better writer in no time!
Who is the Question Word
When writing, it’s important to know when to use who vs. whom. These two pronouns are similar, but they work differently in sentences. Who is the subject, while whom is an object. In other words, who performs the action, and whom receives the action. When writing questions, always use who as the question word. For example, who made those beautiful hats? Whom will she give them to?
In the modern world, it is gaining popularity to substitute whom with he or she, but this can still be incorrect. In general, you should avoid replacing who with he or she, and only use it in cases where whom would be the object of a preposition or verb. With this in mind, the difference between who and whom is not as difficult as it seems. Knowing the grammar rules can help you distinguish when to use who vs whom. If you follow these rules, your writing will sound more formal and professional.