Difference Between Who and Whom

Who vs Whom

Who and Whom are two words that are often confused when it comes to their grammatical usage. In fact they should be used differently. The word ‘who’ is used as a subject as in the sentences

1. Who broke this window?

2. Who captured this state?

In both the sentences the word ‘who’ is used in the position of a ‘subject’.

On the other hand the word ‘whom’ is used as an object as in the sentences:

1. Who said it to whom?

2. To whom did he give the book.

In both the sentences the word ‘whom’ is used as ‘object’. This is the main difference between the two words ‘who’ and ‘whom’.

It is interesting to note that the word whom is often preceded by the preposition ‘to’ as in the sentence ‘to whom did you give your pencil?’ On the other hand the word ‘who’ is often followed by the auxiliary verbs, either ‘is’ or ‘was’ as in the sentences:

1. Who is the captain of the cricket team?

2. Who was the leader of the opposition then?

In both the sentences mentioned above you can see that the word ‘who’ is followed by the auxiliary verbs ‘is’ and ‘was’. It is important to know that both the words are often used in questions as in the sentences:

1. Who defeated the Mughal emperor Humayun?

2. To whom did you give your car?

In both the sentences given above you can see that the words ‘who’ and ‘whom’ are used in questions.

It is also important to know that the word ‘whom’ is often preceded by other prepositions too such as ‘by’ and ‘from’ and sometimes ‘of as in the sentence ‘by whom was the king killed in the battle?’ These are the differences between who and whom.