Who, not whom!

rogersgeorge on December 30th, 2017

You can pretty easily find grammar posts that tell you to use “whom” when your instinct tells you to use “who.” These mainly contain dire warnings about direct objects and objects of prepositions.

Well, sometimes the word in question isn’t an object, it’s a subject! Take a look at thisĀ Hi and Lois, last panel:

Hi and Lois - 12/23/2017

Does that sixth grade English teacher in you tell you it should be “whom”? I hope not, because “who” is correct!

Let’s analyze the sentence. First, look at the verbs:

  • think (okay, “do think,” but you can ignore the “do.” “Do” just makes it emphatic.)
  • asked
  • to fill
  • gets

Wow! Four verbs! Not bad for a sentence in a comic. Now, figure out which words are the subjects of those verbs:

  • you think
  • ? asked
  • me to fill (subjects of infinitives are in the objective case. See an earlier post.)
  • he gets

The only possible candidate is who, so don’t be afraid to use “who” when it’s a subject.

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