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whom

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.
Thomas Hobbes
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English

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Etymology

Old English hwam

Pronunciation

Pronoun

whom (the singular and plural objective case of who)

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) What person or people; which person or people, as the object of a verb.
    Whom did you ask?
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) What person or people; which person or people, as the object of a preposition.
    To whom are you referring?
    With whom were you talking?
  3. Him; her; them (used as a relative pronoun to refer to a previously mentioned person or people.)
    He's a person with whom I work.
    We have ten employees, of whom half are carpenters.

Usage notes

In both written and spoken language, who is often used in place of whom, even as an object, although some prescriptivists regard such usage as incorrect. In US English, the use of whom is characteristic of a formal style and is often considered stilted in informal conversation. Usage of whom is more common in UK English, particularly after a preposition (with whom, from whom etc).

Whom is an object pronoun, while who is a subject pronoun. One would never use whom as the subject of a verb. One method to use to determine correctness of who vs. whom is to rephrase the sentence to eliminate who or whom in favor of he, him, she, her, they or them. If you would have used he, she, or they, in place of the word, then who is the correct word; if you would have used him, her, or them, then whom is the correct word.

This also applies for whoever and whomever, in which if you would replace that word with 'he' or 'she', then 'who' or 'whoever' is the correct word; if you would use 'him' or 'her' instead, then 'whom' or 'whomever' is correct.

In the famous Mamas & The Papas song Go where you wanna go there is a line, You gotta go where you wanna go, Do what you wanna do With whomever you want to do it, babe. We can rephrase the end of this sentence correctly as "with him or her, babe". We cannot correctly rephrase the sentence as "with he or she, babe" and thus, "whomever" was the correct word in the line of that song.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

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