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Dun Writin’—Now Whut? – 42 Who, Whom, and other Word Misuses (A series by Susan Uttendorfsky – Owner of Adirondack Editing)

Helpful writing tips. 🙂

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Who, Whom, and other Word Misuses

Erik (The Kid Who Reviews Books), a frequent visitor and commenter on The Story Reading Ape’s blog, requested a post discussing who and whom. Thanks for the suggestion, Erik, and if anyone else has any requests, please leave them in the comments!

Many writers struggle with when to use “who” and when to use “whom,” which are both pronouns. The technical explanation is that “who” is a subjective pronoun; it should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence. “Whom” is an objective pronoun; it should be used to refer to the object of a sentence.

But unless you like to diagram sentences in your sleep, that’s probably way too mechanical for you. A common helpful hint is:

  • If the pronoun can be replaced by “he” or “she,” then use “who.”

  • If the pronoun can be replaced by “him” or “her,” then…

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7 comments on “Dun Writin’—Now Whut? – 42 Who, Whom, and other Word Misuses (A series by Susan Uttendorfsky – Owner of Adirondack Editing)

  1. I learned English by reading, not by studying, and I’ve diagrammed a few simple sentences for the fun of it, BUT I have no idea what I’m doing there if your want it to be formal grammar and know why.

    Reading provides a huge database; when I can’t figure out exactly what I’m supposed to do, I use the Handbook of Good English.

    It is always interesting to get a quick rule of thumb, and this is a useful one. I didn’t know ‘who’ was a subject pronoun, and ‘whom’ an object one, and now I do. Thanks.

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