When Do You Use The Word Whom Instead Of Who?

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 20, 2017
When Do You Use The Word Whom Instead Of Who?

Using the words Who and Whom correctly already seems to be a lost battle. Most people use them interchangeably, but the fact is that there is a lot of difference. You can use either of them in casual conversations, but you need to study a bit if you are involved in formal English writing. Here at, we will try to highlight when do you use the word whom instead of who?

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Understanding the difference

Although both Who and Whom are relative pronouns, Who is used as a subject, while Whom is used as an indirect or direct object of a preposition or verb.

Who is a subjective or nominative pronoun, which means that you usually use it as subject in a clause or sentence only. On the other hand, Whom is an objective pronoun which you use as an object in a sentence, and not as a subject.

Again, both Who and Whom are used to refer a human beings only, and never a thing or animal.

Usage rules

Who is used as a subject or as complement to some linking verb. You can double check by using who instead of a personal pronoun like he or she. If you think that the sentence is correct grammatically, then who is the word that you have to use. For instance, in ‘Pooja was the girl who was wearing black dress’, you can substitute with ‘She was wearing black dress’, and see if it grammatically correct. In this case, it is correct, which means that you can use Who in this sentence.

On the other hand, Whom is used as a preposition’s object or as a verb’s object. If you are not sure, use the rule of substitution. If the sentence looks fine even after substituting Him or Her with Whom, then you can definitely go for it. For example, in ‘I asked Pooja to complete the work’, you can substitute with ‘I asked her to complete the work’. This sentence looks fine, but it would not have worked if we wrote ‘I asked she to complete the work’. So, this indicates that Whom is the word to be used instead of Who.

Examples of Who and Whom


· Who went to the park?

· Who ate the dinner?

· Who is wearing the black dress?


· Whom did you go to the park with?

· Whom did you call for dinner?

· Whom did you see wearing a black dress?


Now that you have understood when to use Whom and Who, you can easily know when to use Whom instead of Who, and vice versa.

If you want to read similar articles to When Do You Use The Word Whom Instead Of Who?, we recommend you visit our Learning category.

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When Do You Use The Word Whom Instead Of Who?
When Do You Use The Word Whom Instead Of Who?

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