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Verbal Basics: Who vs Whom

Verbal Basics: Who vs Whom

‘Who vs Whom’ is another one of those classic confusions faced by English speakers worldwide. Even many native English speakers and writers are sometimes unable to determine which way to go. While it is tricky to pick the best option, the good news is that there is a way to do it.

First, let’s get into some verbal basics. While both ‘who’ and ‘whom’ are pronouns, ‘who’ is used as the subject of a clause while ‘whom’ is employed as the object of a clause. They are understood better with examples:

Who likes the colour red?

Whom should I go to?

In the first question, ‘who’ is a subject while in the second one ‘whom’ is the object.

Now, a very simple way to remember the correct usage is through the ‘he/him’ rule. If the word can be replaced with ‘he’, use ‘who’; if ‘him’ is the correct usage, use ‘whom’. Going back to the example again:

The first question can be answered thus:

He likes the colour red.

And the second one:

You should go to him.

Remember this rule and ‘who vs whom’ will always have a clear winner in an exam scenario!

Now attempt a few verbal practice tests.



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