Difference Between Who and Whom

Who vs Whom
 

Without having a clear idea about the difference between who and whom we cannot use the two terms in a grammatically correct manner. Who and whom are both pronouns in the English language. When it comes to the word who, it is used as an interrogative pronoun as well as a relative pronoun. The origin of the word who lies in the Old English word hwā. Moreover, in English language, there are a number of phrases that use the word who. Some examples for the phrases that use the word who are as who should say, who am I to do something and who goes there.

What does Who mean?

The word who is used as a subject as in the sentences given below.

Who broke this window?

Who captured this state?

In both the sentences, the word who is used in the position of a subject. If you look at these sentences clearly, you will see that who is used as an interrogative pronoun. On the other hand, the word who is often followed by the auxiliary verbs, either ‘is’ or ‘was’ as in the sentences given below:

Who is the captain of the cricket team?

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 who is often used in questions as in the sentence given below:

Who defeated the Mughal emperor Humayun?

In the sentence given above, you can see how who is used in a question. All the example mentioned before also show this fact. 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 given below.

By whom was the king killed in the battle?

Difference Between Who and Whom

What does Whom mean?

On the other hand, the word whom is used as an object as in the sentences given below:

Who said it to whom?

To whom did he give the book?

In both the sentences, the word whom is used as an object. This is the main difference between the two words who and whom. Actually, whom is used instead of who as the object of a verb or preposition. It is interesting to note that the word whom is often preceded by the preposition ‘to’ as in the sentence given below.

To whom did you give your pencil?

It is important to know that whom is often used in questions as in the sentence given below:

To whom did you give your car?

In the sentence given above, you can see the manner in which whom is used in a question. Most of the examples mentioned before also portray the same fact.

What is the difference between Who and Whom?

• The word who is used as a subject is some sentences. This is when who is used as an interrogative pronoun.

• On the other hand, the word whom is used as an object. This is the main difference between the two words who and whom.

• Actually, whom is used instead of who as the object of a verb or preposition.

• The word whom is often preceded by the preposition ‘to.’ On the other hand, the word who is often followed by the auxiliary verbs, either ‘is’ or ‘was.’

• It is important to know that both words, who and whom, are often used in questions.

• The word whom is often preceded by other prepositions too such as ‘by’ and ‘from’ and sometimes ‘of.’

These are the differences between who and whom.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Who example by YoshiLuke (CC BY-SA 3.0)