Who or Whom?

When to Use Who (Subjective form)

In a sentence, who is used as a subject. Here are two examples:

Who would like to be on your team?

Who made those beautiful hats?

When to Use Whom (Objective form)

Whom is used as the object of a verb or preposition. Consider these examples:

To whom was the letter addressed?

Whom do you believe

I do not know with whom I will go to the concert.

Below are two tricks for how to figure out whether who or whom is correct.

Trick No. 1

The commonly repeated advice for remembering whether to use who or whom is this: If you can replace the word with he or she or another subject pronoun, use who. If you can replace it with him or her (or another object pronoun), use whom. One way to remember this trick is that both him and whom end with the letter m.

For example:

[Who/Whom] do you love? Do you love him? You would not say, “Do you love he?” So, whom is correct.
[Who/Whom] writes the songs? He writes the songs. You would not say, “Him writes the songs.”
Therefore, who is correct.

Trick No. 2

If the first trick does not work for you, try this one:

  1. Find all the verbs in the sentence.
  2. Find the subject that corresponds to each verb.
  3. If who/whom is a subject (the one doing the action), use who.
  4. If who/whom is an object (the one receiving the action), use whom.

Let us look at this example: Who made those beautiful hats and to whom will she give them?

  1. The verbs are made and give.
  2. The subjects are who and she.
  3. Because who is the subject of the first clause, (doing the action) who is correct.
  4. Because she is the subject of the second clause, whom is correct because it is receiving the hats.

Another Way to See How Who and Whom are Used.

Use this he/him (she/her) method to decide whether who or whom is correct:
he = who
him = whom

Who/Whom wrote the letter?
He wrote the letter. Therefore, who is correct.

Who/Whom is going to make the presentation?
She is going to make the presentation. Therefore, who is correct.

Who/Whom should I vote for?
I should vote for her. Therefore, whom is correct.

The award for “Best Essay” will go to who/whom?
The award will go to her. Therefore, whom is correct.


Sources: proofreadnow.com,  grammarlink.com/grammar/whoVwhom.asp