This Is How to Properly Use “Who” vs. “Whom”

You've always wondered, so we're setting the record straight.

This-Is-How-To-Properly-Use-‘Who’-vs.-‘WhomTatiana Ayazo/ Rd“Who” gets to have all the fun. Who gets to be on first. Who is responsible for letting the dogs out. Meanwhile, “whom” is sitting in the corner, being perceived as pretentious by plenty of English-speakers.

But whom isn’t neglected due to any flaw, not at all. Whom is neglected because plenty of people just aren’t quite sure when the time is right to use it in a sentence, kinda like figuring out when it is seasonally acceptable to start wearing boots. It’s important to know, though. After all, it is one of the grammar rules that’ll make you instantly sound smarter. Now, with some help from Grammarly, we clarify the official who vs. whom rules.

This-Is-How-To-Properly-Use-‘Who’-vs.-‘WhomTatiana Ayazo/ Rd

In plain terms, whom is meant to be used to refer to the object of preposition or verb, while who should refer to the subject of the sentence. Here are two examples of proper usages:

  • To whom should the letter on the importance of grammar be addressed?
  • Who is responsible for making this delightful crockpot lasagna?

This-Is-How-To-Properly-Use-‘Who’-vs.-‘WhomTatiana Ayazo/ RdA useful trick to make sure that you’re using each one properly requires you to do a quick substitution. Slide in “he” or “him” or “she” or “her” into the place of the who or whom. Now, let’s review the above-listed examples with the added in substitutions.

  • I should address the the letter on the importance of grammar to him. (Whom was properly used.)
  • He is responsible for making this delightful crockpot lasagna. (Who was properly used.)

Now you can go out into the world and impress every grammarian you encounter. Sadly for whom, who will always play first fiddle, always relating to the subject. But that’s not the only tricky grammar rule out there. Here’s the proper usage of the Oxford Comma and when to use “everyday” or “every day”.

[Source: Grammarly]

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