General Writing and Grammar Help/use of "whom"

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Question
Dear Ted,

Would you please help me with the following sentence:
“Whom are you having lunch with?”

Is this a correct sentence?  Is it acceptable to separate the object “whom” from the preposition “with”?  

For some reason,  I keep thinking that this sentence is incorrect, but I cannot figure out why it would be.

Thank you so much.  

Very Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

I apologize for the delay.  I have been having some problems after my last eye surgery.

****


Would you please help me with the following sentence:
“Whom are you having lunch with?”

Is this a correct sentence?  Is it acceptable to separate the object “whom” from the preposition “with”?  

For some reason,  I keep thinking that this sentence is incorrect, but I cannot figure out why it would be.

*** The sentence is correct, but it is not phrased very well.  Reconstruct the question to be a statement:

You are having lunch with whom.

If you begin the sentence with the preposition, it is clearer:  With whom are you having lunch?

Dealing with the correct usages of "WHO" and "WHOM" has been problematic for centuries.  One American [I forget which one] said that every time he used the word "whom," he sounded like a British butler.

Winston Churchill made a famous comment about ending sentences with prepositions, as you did with your original statement:  Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put!

British humor [or "humour"].

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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