WHO or WHOM?

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We just don't hear WHOM as much in recent years because it sounds so formal, but there are situations where formality rules, so let's take a look at an easy way to remember which is correct, WHO or WHOM.

The method I teach my students is substitution. If you’re unsure when speaking or writing, if you can substitute as follows:

HE or SHE = WHO
HIM or HER = WHOM

If it sounds correct using HE or SHE, the correct word is WHO.

If it sounds correct using HIM or HER, the correct word is WHOM.

Hint: If the sentence asks a question, just answer it using this replacement to find the proper usage.

EXAMPLES:

WHO/WHOM took the photograph? He or Him took the photograph. He took the photograph. WHO is correct here: Who took the photograph?

The gifts were an incentive for WHO/WHOM? The gifts were an incentive for her. WHOM is correct: The gifts were an incentive for whom?

The essay was written for WHO/WHOM? The essay was written for HIM. WHOM is correct here. The essay was written for WHOM?

If you have a sentence that you can’t solve, put it in a comment here.

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