Who vs Whom: Difference and Comparison

There are a couple of rules when you should utilize who and when whom. “Who” is an abstract pronoun. “Whom” is a goal pronoun.

That essentially implies that “who” is consistently dependent upon an action word and that “whom” is continually filling in as an item in a sentence.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Who” functions as a subject pronoun, replacing subjects in sentences.
  2. “Whom” acts as an object pronoun, replacing direct or indirect objects.
  3. To determine which pronoun to use, rephrase the sentence, substituting “he/she” for “who” and “him/her” for “whom”; if it makes sense, you’ve chosen the correct pronoun.

Who vs Whom

The difference between who and whom is that who ought to be utilized to allude to the subject of a sentence. “Whom” ought to be utilized to allude to the object of an action word or relational word. In the event that you can exchange the word with “he” or “she”, you should utilize who. Notwithstanding, on the chance that you can exchange it with “him” or “her,” utilization whom.

Who vs Whom

Who is an inquisitive pronoun and can be utilized instead of the subject of an inquiry. For example, Who is leaving?; Who are you?; Is this who asked you?

“Who” can likewise be utilized in explanations instead of the subject of a proviso. For example, This is who told me.; Joe is the one who wants to sing.; Anybody who knows the true story should tell us.

“Whom” is an inquisitive pronoun, however, it is utilized instead of the object of an inquiry. For example, “Whom is this book about?” With whom are you staying?; Whom did you tell?

What’s more, “whom” can be utilized in articulations instead of the object of a proviso. For example, This is the woman whom I told her about.; Joe is the man whom I met at lunch last week.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWhoWhom
HighlightsWho is used to highlight the subject in a sentence.Whom is used to highlight the object of a verb or preposition.
Used WithWho is used with I or he or she.Whom is used with me or him or her .
 WorkWho is consistently dependent upon an action work. Whom is continually functioning as an item in a sentence.
RoleWho is the doer of the action.Whom is the receiver of the action.
SubjectWho is the subject of the verb.Whom can never be the subject of the verb.

What is Who? 

Who frequently works as an inquisitive pronoun, which implies that it presents questions that have things like the appropriate response: 

Who gave my cat that sandwich? 

Who should my cat apologize to? 

Both of these sentences seem normal with who, however, assuming we need to know “who” is the decision in both of them, we’ll need to decide whether every who is in the article position.

With questions, the simplest method to do this is to rethink the inquiry as an assertion. “Who gave my cat that sandwich?” becomes “X gave my cat that sandwich,” with “X” representing the obscure divulger of sandwich presence.

“X” is the subject of the action word given since “X” has done the giving, so who is to be sure right? 

Rethinking the second inquiry as, “Who should my cat apologize to? ” turns into “My cat ought to apologize to X.”

“X” is the object of the relational word to, so who ought to actually be whom: “Whom should my cat apologize to?” (If you don’t care for the terminal relational word—which is antiquated and completely syntactic—you might like “To whom should my cat apologize?”).


What is Whom?

“Whom” is both straightforward and confounded. It is basic in that it is just the target instance of who, which implies that it’s the type of who that is in the article position in a sentence.

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The pair of words closely resembling they and them: similarly, as we’d say (failing to remember the absence of clearness), “They helped them,” we’d say, “Who helped whom.” 

What precisely comprises the item position in a sentence is the place where things get convoluted. 

An item, in linguistic terms, is a thing or thing same (like a pronoun, “ing” word, or proviso) that gets the activity of an action word or that finishes the significance of a relational word—in this way, for instance, sandwich in “They purchased a sandwich”; it in “My dog ate it”; saying ‘sorry'” in “a suitable time for saying ‘sorry’. 

“Who” is a pronoun, which implies that it’s utilized rather than a thing or thing expression to allude to a thing/thing phrase that has effectively been referenced or that shouldn’t be named explicitly.

“Whom” replaces who in spots where that word would get the activity of the action word or complete the importance of a relational word.


Main Differences Between Who and Whom

  1. Who in a sentence comes when I/he/she is used, whereas whom comes when me/him/her is used.
  2. While “who” can be the subject of the verb, “whom” can not.
  3. “Who” is referred to as the doer of the action, whereas “whom” is referred to as the receiver of the action.
  4. “Who” depends on the action being done while whom is not dependent.
  5. “Who” revolves arround the subject, whereas “whom” revolves arround verb.
Difference Between Who and Whom
  1. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED613321
  2. https://www.sid.ir/en/Journal/ViewPaper.aspx?ID=280418

Last Updated : 24 November, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Who vs Whom: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I found the article very helpful in understanding the difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom’. It was well explained.

  2. The article does a great job explaining the concept of ‘Who’ and ‘Whom’ with simple language. It’s easy to understand.

  3. Leticia, thank you for sharing your insights. I’ve always found the use of ‘who’ and ‘whom’ confusing, but this explanation has made it clear.


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