General Writing and Grammar Help/Who vs Whom


QUESTION: Respected Sir Richard,

Thank you for your answer to my previous question. You sent me the follow-up question to rate it. However, there is no "Thank/Rate Expert" button in that follow-up answer because Allexperts automatically adds the ratings of all follow-up answers that are included in the questions. When I rated your answer, all of the follow-ups were rated automatically. You can contact allexperts administration for more details.

In the previous answer you said, "Note that I've changed your numbers (1,2, and 3) to capital letters (A, B, and C), to save me a bit of time. (If it's not obvious how this saves me time, I'll be happy to explain, should you wish.)"

I would like to know how replacing numbers with alphabets can save you time?

Respected Sir Richard, you requested me to send the other questions separately. So I created this new question entitled as "Who vs Whom Part 2". I would like to know that how many parts of such questions are you able to answer separately since you only accept maximum of three questions in a body of question that is being asked?

The subject of Who vs Whom is so tricky that it has confused me severely. As a non-native English speaker, it becomes even more difficult for me to decide when to use Who and when to use Whom. I have dedicated to learn this, and I will continue practicing until I master the correct usage of these both words.

This question is the continuation of previous question. Here are the questions. I included just four questions in this part of question. You only accept three. However, I included four because it wasn't appropriate to ask one question as follow-up. I hope you can understand.

A)You can select any candidate WHOM you think is fit for the job.

I selected WHOM in this sentence because the nature of this sentence shows that the verb (select) is being directed towards the object (candidate).

B) They take their teachings from their professors WHO they consider to be their role model.

I selected WHO because because the verb in this sentence is being directed towards the subject in the sentence. "They" are the subject and "Professors" are the object. I believe that the verb "teachings" is taking on subject in the sentence. Therefore, I chose WHO.

C) They take their teachings from their professors like Mr.Mack WHOM they consider to be their role model.

In this sentence I selected WHOM because in this sentence the object is mentioned by name. I am a bit confused here. But I thought that when an object is mentioned by name, then WHOM is the correct choice.

D) There are several people WHOM I believe should be included.

I chose WHOM here because I think the verb (Believe) takes on object (People).

I am waiting for your response.

Thank you.

ANSWER: Thanks, Ryo, for your new follow-up and reply. I can't see the transmissions you receive from AllExperts, so I have to take your word regarding the lack of an option to rate the follow-up answer, and I'm pleased to do that. (Consultation with AllExperts is not practical.) It's strange, because AllExperts sends me a record of all ratings, and most of my answers to follow-ups are indeed rated.

The reason why distinguishing selections by capital letters instead of numbers saves me a little time is that otherwise, for (for example) the first such selection I'd have to type something like "Selection 1" and with capital letters I need type "A" alone. It's not much of a difference, but the extra time can add up. I do appreciate your cooperation.

As I stated, I do have to limit your questions to three (3) selections each. I don't really understand your reluctance to do so. You can submit questions as follow-ups or not, as you choose. All selections in any one question, of course, must concern the same issue.

*    *    *    *

A is wrong. Correct is You can select any candidate WHO you think is fit for the job. Who is the subject of the subordinate clause who you think is fit for the job.

B is wrong. Correct would be They take their teachings from their professors, WHOM they consider to be their role model. Whom is the object of the verb consider, in the subordinate clause. Note also that there must be a comma after professors.

C is almost correct, for reasons similar to those above for B. There must however be a comma after Mr. Mack.

Ryo, feel free if necessary to ask me further follow-ups on any of the above. Please do limit your questions to three selections each.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Richard,

I hope you are fine. I received your rating request and I have rated your answer. You should also note that I have also rated all of your previous answers. I hope you are satisfied with the ratings, and I hope that I have rated all of your answers. If there are any answers left that require ratings, then please let me know. I will try my level best to rate them.

Respected Richard, as you requested, I am limiting my questions to three per submission. I will ask any type of three questions per submission. This means that the questions might be or might not be in sentence form as they were in previous questions. The format of questions and type of questions are below in this follow-up. Please do let me know if you are not comfortable with this. However, if you are comfortable with this, then I would appreciate it.

Question# 1) In the previous answer, you told that Whom is the object of the verb "consider" in the subordinate clause. In one of your previous answer, you told me that action is performed on the object.

The sentence was this one:- "They take their teachings from their professors Whom they consider to be their role model."

There are two things in this sentence. Subject: They and Object: Professors. My main question is: how can we decide whether the verb "consider" is taking on the subject or the object in the sentence to correctly use Whom or Who?

Question #2) This question is pretty small one. Do we always use Whom in the sentence when prepositions precede the pronouns Whom/Who? For example, "Company rewarded the employee WITH WHOM we worked."

Please note that I have limited my questions to two in this submission. You can see the format of the question and type of question.

I hope you would respond soon.


Thanks, Ryo, for your ratings. I'll be pleased to answer both parts of your question.

I hope there's no misunderstanding. Since both parts of your question (which you've designated Question 1 and Question 2) relate to the same issue [use of who and whom ], I'm considering these together as one question. The limitation I've recently expressed to you concerns the number of selections I could consider in a single question. By selection I mean a sentence or other discrete English construction I'd need to analyze. My overall limitation remains as always: one question per submission, and one issue per question.

Now to your current question.

Verbs don't take subjects. One could say a subject takes a verb, but more commonly, a sentence or clause simply has a subject. In the sentence "They take their teachings from their professors whom they consider to be their role model," whom is correct because the students consider the professors to be.... Although consider does not strictly denote an action, it's treated the same as, for example, push, and takes the object professors just as if the verb were push.

Re #2: The issue of case (as between who and whom ) is determined by syntax and not by position. However, if the pronoun standing alone immediately follows a preposition, the pronoun will always be in the objective case--meaning that who would be wrong. If the pronoun introduces a clause, as to whoever will listen, then the object of the proposition is not the pronoun but the clause. In this example whoever is correct as it is not the object of the proposition but the subject of the clause.

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Richard Johnson


I can answer any question--usually the same day--on correct English grammar, usage, and (non-fiction) writing style, usually the same day, based on the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.


I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely primarily on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as

BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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