People seem to be terrified of whom, and for good reason. Most of us never learned how to use whom because — and this is a secret — our teachers didn’t understand it either. Fret no more! You may now use whom with confidence.
- Whom does this belong to?
- Ask not for who the bell tolls.
- Let me know whom said that; I can’t remember whom it was.
The heart of the matter is whether the word is the subject or object of the sentence. When you’re working with the subject, use who. Who said it? She said it! (As the subject of the sentence, you could also use her name instead of who. Hana said it!) If the word in question is the object of the sentence, use whom. This belongs to whom? It belongs to him.
Wondering if you’ve used the correct word? If you can replace the word with “he” or “she,” the proper choice is who. If the replacement can be “her” or “him,” whom is the correct usage.