Who vs Whom

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What’s the difference between them?

Who

Meaning:

The pronoun 'who' is used to refer to the subject of a sentence, clause, or phrase. It can refer to people, animals, groups, or things.

Examples:

1. Who left their shoes in the hallway?

2. Who knows the answer to this question?

3. Who wants to go for ice cream?

Whom

Meaning:

Pronoun; the objective form of 'who,' used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a person or persons.

Examples:

1. With whom shall I discuss this matter?

2. Whom do you think is responsible for this problem?

3. To whom shall I address my letter?

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Who

1. Individual

2. Person

3. Soul

4. Character

5. Mortal Being

1. Nobody

2. What

3. Where

4. No one

5. Neither

Whom

1. For whom

2. Whomever

3. Person in question

1. I

2. Everyone

3. Nobody

4. Him

5. Self

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Who", "Whom".

1. If you can replace the word with 'he/she/they,' use 'who.' If you can replace the word with 'him/her/them,' use 'whom.'

2. When in doubt, replace the word with 'he/she/they' and see if it sounds correct. If it does, use 'who.' If it doesn't, use 'whom.'

3. Mnemonic Phrase: 'He who asks questions finds answers.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'who'?

The pronoun 'who' should be used when referring to the subject of a sentence, clause, or phrase. It can refer to people, animals, groups, or things.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'whom'?

The pronoun 'whom' should be used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a person or persons.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, who is pronounced /hu/, while whom is pronounced /hum/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using these words is confusing 'who' with 'whom'. While 'who' is the subject of a sentence, clause, or phrase, 'whom' is the object. It's important to recognize the difference between these two words and use them appropriately.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. We need to talk to ___________ is responsible for this mess.

2. ___________ do you think is the right candidate for the job?

3. I wonder ___________ they are inviting to the party.

4. ___________ did you give the job to in the end?

5. The professor asked ___________ could answer the question.

6. ___________ will be going on the school trip?

1. Who

Explanation: Who is used to refer to the subject of a sentence. In this instance, the person responsible for the mess is the subject of the sentence, thus who is the correct choice.

2. Whom

Explanation: Whom is used to refer to the object of a sentence. In this instance, the person being discussed is the object of the sentence, thus whom is the correct choice.

3. Whom

Explanation: Whom is used to refer to the object of a sentence. In this instance, the people being invited to the party are the object of the sentence, thus whom is the correct choice.

4. Who

Explanation: Who is used to refer to the subject of a sentence. In this instance, the person being given the job is the subject of the sentence, thus who is the correct choice.

5. Who

Explanation: Who is used to refer to the subject of a sentence. In this instance, the person being asked the question is the subject of the sentence, thus who is the correct choice.

6. Who

Explanation: Who is used to refer to the subject of a sentence. In this instance, the people going on the school trip are the subject of the sentence, thus who is the correct choice.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.