Who vs. Whom? Or, Which Frakking Word Should I Use?

Cylon Raider

On a recent sojourn to the other side of my lovely country (Vancouver, I miss you!), I found myself discussing the grammatical conundrum of who vs. whom. It’s a tricky one, so I thought I’d try to shed some light on when you should be using who and when it should be whom instead.

First of all, both who and whom are interrogative pronouns (along with whose, what and which). We use interrogative pronouns when we want to ask a question. So here’s the nitty-gritty of how who and whom are used:

Who is the nominative form and can be used in the following 2 ways:

1)   As the subject of a verb.
Who created the Cylons?

2)   As a predicate nominative, following a be-verb.
No way! Boomer was who?

Whom is the objective form and can also be used in 2 different ways, as follows:

1)   As the object of a verb.
Whom did Starbuck crush? (whom is the object of crush)

2)   As the object of a preposition.
Gaius Baltar, with whom are you in love? (whom is the object of with)

So the simple rule to remember is that who is either the subject or is pointing to the subject, while whom is the object of either a verb or a preposition.

If you’re looking for more, Grammar Girl has a neat trick to help you remember which one to use in her post about who vs. whom.


Image credit: © Crouchy / Fanpop.com

5 thoughts on “Who vs. Whom? Or, Which Frakking Word Should I Use?

  1. Ha! Cylon grammar. Now that’s learnin’!

    (I also almost posted the “him/whom, he/who” trick until I clicked on the link you provided. Reading and clicking through to everything for the win!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s