Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 18."Halt! Whom Goes There?" Pronoun Case, Continued. English Grammar Lesson

Difficulty: 0

there may be nothing that gets English

speakers and writers more anxious than

having to make the decision between who

and whom it's thought of as just a

terrifically complicated problem well

again as I've said elsewhere it's not

that difficult as long as you have some

other concepts now when you're talking

about the difference between who and

whom you're talking about a difference

in case so the question about whether to

use who or whom is of the same kind as

the question about whether to use he or

hanim or we or us which I've discussed

elsewhere so this chart here shows you

the two cases that we're dealing with so

who is in one case and whom is in

another case case is an attribute of who

and who now the nominative case these

are the i you we they which I've had it

here who and whoever and the accusative

case these are two with the

corresponding pronouns me you him her us

them whom and whomever and if you if

you're even confused about you which

which one this whom go with em as you

see has something to do with the

accusative case the ends go together

the me there so this is where the ends

are the ends be and whom and them in him

they they go together you see something

there about the history of the evolution

of the language now again as I've said

in my other video about case and let

this same thing write on the board the

only thing you really have that know is

what is this pronoun doing is it a

subject or is it a subjective compliment

if it's one of those two things then

it's in the nominative case then it's

who alternatively it might be some kind

of object the object of a preposition an

indirect object or a direct object and

in those cases it is the accusative if

it's acting this object its poom and

that's it that's the whole question the

whole the whole thing you have to figure

out is just which of these things is it

it's the subject a subject a compliment

or an object of some kind and if you can

answer if you can put the blank that

you're trying to fill into one of those

three spots you're done so what now

let's let's look at this it is a little

more complicated with who or whom

because of word order as we'll see when

we look at examples now the man who you

know has left the man who you know has

left now what you have to ask yourself

here again is well what is this who

doing is it an object is it a subject

what is it well it's part of this

subordinate clause who you know who you

know hangs together as a clause that is

functioning as an adjective it's it's

answering the question which

the man who you know that's which man so

these are the three words that hang

together this is the subordinate clause

and sportive clauses have subject verb

combinations the verb is know who's

doing this knowing well you you were

doing it on you know so this is the

subject so we know who is not the

subject now when you have who at the

beginning in one of these clauses you

have to just do a little switch of word

order and you can do a test and ask

yourself would I use he or him if this

were not a hoop clause but if it were

just a regular sentence would I say you

know he or you know him and of course we

would say you know him you know him

now these in these who clauses again the

the word order is rearranged as it is in

questions so you might want to do that

little switch I've just suggested you

know him therefore it's whom you know

you know who not you know who so you

know so it should be the man whom you

know has left who did we invite who did

we invite now the verb here is did

invite this is a simple question invite

who did who did this inviting we did the

inviting right we did invite so that's

the subject we and did it Mike is the

verb and again if we do a little test

ask yourself what would I say what I say

we did invite he or we did invite him

because in fact who here is the direct

object as need the whom

whom down here was the direct object no

whom you know you've know him whom

there's the direct object and whom did

we invite whom here is likewise the

direct object we is the subject who was

invited now the verb this means

something very close to whom did we

invite who was invited the verb here is

was invited well right away you should

have a notion that this has got to be

the subject if that's all there is left

in the sentence who indeed is the

subject who is the thing that was

invited so again we did our little test

would you say he was invited or him was

invited of course you would say he was

invited so the who here is correct again

it's not a question a lot of people and

they think whom is just somehow always

more correct or more formal or something

that who is the vended that's that's

that's completely mistaken now let's see

I've dined with a man who's seldom spoke

I dined with a man who's seldom spoke

now with is a preposition and is going

to be followed by an object now the

object of with is man but man is part of

a larger nominal phrase with who or I

should say with whom with a man who

seldom spoke that's with him now that

fact though does not mean that every

word in this in this phrase has got to

be in the accusative

just because it's part of a phrase whose

head whose chief word is in the

accusative case that doesn't mean that

you put everything in the initiative

case you ask yourself what is this

particular who doing and this is once

again a subordinate clause that's

functioning as an adjective which man

the one who seldom spoke that's which


so who seldom spoke is a subordinate

clause spoke is the verb and who was

doing the speaking well who was who

spoke so would you say he spoke or him

spoke and of course you would say he

spoke so who is correct here and to take

what is probably the most complicated

kind of problem take it from whoever has

it again from is a preposition and it's

got to be followed by an object and you

might say well this is the closest word

to the preposition it's got to be

whomever but it doesn't quite work that

way first of all I mean you can do a

short answer or a long one first of all

if you look at this whoever has it this

is a subordinate clause that's

functioning as a noun right take it from

the person take it from whoever has it

and unlike nominal phrases like a man

who saw them spoke clauses do not have

heads that is their in in the for in the

clause whoever has it there's no one key

word in a man who seldom spoke there is


word man and everything else in the

phrase Nam modifies man who sell bespoke

modifies man and AIDS and modifies men

but whoever has it as a clause there is

there isn't a main word of applause so

what is the object of width in this

sentence in the sentence is really this

single word man but there is no single

word that is the object of from what's

the object of from is this whole clause

and now you look within the clause and

you see that okay

who's doing the habit whoever is doing

the habit it is the direct object of has

has it what is had it is had whoever is

the subject and therefore this is

correct take it from whoever has it so

that's that is the long answer the short

answer is if you look at this whoever or

whomever and you see that it's

functioning as a subject you can just

you can stop right there and you're sure

that it's whoever period

The Description of 18."Halt! Whom Goes There?" Pronoun Case, Continued. English Grammar Lesson