Who versus Whom: Remember Just One Rule

Photo credit: rosefirerising via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: rosefirerising via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Do you have trouble remembering when to use who or whom? It’s a common problem with a quick fix from a Grammar Girl video.

First, let’s get the rule straight. Use who when you’re referring to the subject in a sentence, and use whom when you’re referring to the object.

Subject: Ebenezer Scrooge is a man who loves to hate.

Object: Hannibal Lecter is a man whom everyone loves to hate.

HIMlich Maneuver

In the video below, the Grammar Girl shares an easy way to remember the rule, a method she calls the “himlich” maneuver.

If you can answer (hypothetically) a question with “him,” then use whom. For example, who/whom should we invite to speak? We should invite him.

This means you should use whom. Whom should we invite to speak? Watch the video and remember the rule:

Him = Whom