Language point

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 March, 2004, 12:00am

Who is used when the word it refers to is a subject. See lines 33 and 45 where the subjects are other handicapped men and Mr Bala, respectively. Whom is used when the word it refers to is an object. See line 25 where the subject is he/Mr Meyoghe, but the word whom refers to his daughter and his mother, which are the objects.

In everyday speech, who is often accepted in place of whom.

Example: He is the student who(m) I taught last summer.

Some people might find whom pedantic here, and would prefer who. It is acceptable in speech, but in formal situations it is best to use whom.

1. He is the man ______ spread the rumour.

2. He is the man ______ I think spread the rumour.

3. My father, _____ is almost 70 years old, will retire soon.

4. ______ paid the bill? To _____ should I give my share?

Answers: 1. who 2. whom 3. who 4. Who, whom


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