Difference between Who and Whom | Who vs Whom

How many times have you got confused about when to use the words ‘who’ and ‘whom’? Most of the time, isn’t it? So how to make sure that whenever you are using these words, you get them correct? Once you go through this article thoroughly, you will understand when and where to use the words ‘who’ and ‘whom’ correctly.

There are words in the English Language that can be used interchangeably without changing the context of the sentence, but sometimes this interchanging of words changes the entire meaning as well as the tone of the sentences. So to avoid such mistakes, one must know the meaning of the words they are using. The following points will explain whether there’s any difference between the commonly used words ‘who’ and ‘whom’.

Table Summarising the Difference between Who and Whom

Who

Whom

Meaning

The word ‘who’ is used to refer/denote to the subject in the sentence.

The word ‘whom’ is used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

Usage

It is used as a Pronoun.

It is used as a Pronoun.

Example

Who are you talking to?

To whom did you give the keys?

If you look from the grammatical point of view, you’ll understand the difference between the words ‘who’ and ‘whom’. There are times when one can use ‘whom’ instead of ‘who’, but that won’t always be correct. With the help of this article, children will understand how they can use these words without getting them incorrect. The following points will help you know better and will clear all the confusions you have.

The Difference between Who and Whom – Meaning

The simple difference between the words ‘who’ and ‘whom’ is that the former can only be used with the subject of any sentence. For example, “Anna goes to school.” So the word ‘who’ can be used, and the sentence can be reframed as an interrogative one, i.e. “Who goes to school?” and the answer to this question ‘Anna’ is the subject of the sentence. In comparison, the word ‘whom’ is used with an object of a verb or preposition in the sentence. For example, “Anna saw him on the train.” So when you use ‘whom’ in the sentence, it becomes “Anna saw whom on the train?” The explanation will be much clearer when students solve worksheets on ‘who’ and ‘whom’. The following examples will help students understand clearly about ‘who’ and ‘whom’.

Example of Who and Whom

The following examples will ensure students understand the terms ‘should’ and ‘must’.

Who – Do you know who stole the necklace? (pronoun)

Whom – That is J.K.Rowling, whom I met on the subway the other day. (pronoun)

Who and Whom – Conclusion

The words ‘who’ and ‘whom’ have entirely different meanings as the former is used with the subject of the sentence while the latter with the object of the verb/preposition in the sentence. When students are using these words, they have to understand the context’s meaning before applying them. The BYJU’S website also offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with and end up using incorrectly.

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