Who or Whom?

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600+ Confusing English Words Explained

Who is the SUBJECT of the verb.

The subject performs the action:

  • Who ate the last piece of pizza?
    who = subject
    ate = verb
  • The students who failed the test will need extra help.
    the students / who = subject
    failed = verb

Whom is the OBJECT of the verb.

The object receives the action:

  • Bob gave the money to whom?
    Bob = subject
    gave = verb
    money = direct object
    whom = indirect object

Whom is always used after a PREPOSITION.

  • My three brothers, one of whom is a doctor, live in New York.
    (of = preposition)
  • With whom did you go to the movies?
    (with = preposition)
  • That’s the employee at whom I yelled.
    (at = preposition)
  • I no longer speak to the person from whom I got this gift.
    (from = preposition)


In spoken English, we often use “who” not “whom,” and end sentences with prepositions…
even when it is technically incorrect:

  • Who did Bob give the money to?
  • Who did you go to the movies with?
  • That’s the employee who I yelled at.
  • I no longer speak to the person who I got this gift from.

Clear up your doubts about confusing words… and use English more confidently!

Who or Whom? Espresso English

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