Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Proofreading 101 cont'd: who vs. whom

I've got another trick for you, this time to help clear up confusion between who and whom.

To check your who/whom usage, try replacing who with "he" and whom with "him", and recast the sentence. Here's an example:
Who/Whom wrote the book?
He wrote the book.
Therefore, "who" is correct.
Let's try another:
To who/whom did she dedicate the book?
She dedicated the book to him.
Therefore, "whom" is correct.
These are a bit tougher:
The head of marketing consults with writers, who editors say always listens.
Check: Editors say he (the head of marketing – for our purposes, we'll assume he's male) always listens.

The head of marketing consults with writers, whom they admire because he listens.
Check: They admire him because he listens.
So...problems with who and whom should plague you no more; just replace with he and him and you're done!

(Marketing departments working together with writers is another matter entirely.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Eva!

Please keep posting these grammar hints--they're so needed and absolutely marvellous!

9:44 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

I ditto Brown, you're so clever and generous with your knowledge - and I'm actually learning. Please keep 'em coming!

Sue, who often struggles with grammar.

2:26 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

Glad to be of help!

1:20 am  

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