A quick grammar trick

One of the things that perhaps you think only picky people find important is the difference between who and whom. I disagree. 

Not that I think who vs. whom is so vitally important that lives depend on it…it’s more that people who DO know the difference will think less of your good ideas if you do it incorrectly.

It’s a matter of subjective vs. objective case. Sound scary? I thought so. Here’s the quick cheat that I teach my students:

HE ends in a vowel. WhO ends in a vowel.

HiM ends in an M. WhoM ends in an M.

If you can recast the sentence the sentence to decide between he/him, matching the ending will tell you if it’s who or whom. 

Here’s an example: “I should speak to _________?”

Would you say “I should speak to he?” or “I should speak to him?”

Him, right? So in the question, you’d say whom. Works every time.

Learn more

If you haven’t seen Purdue University’s online writing lab, it is fantastic. Here is their guide to who/whom. Be warned, it does use words like subjective and objective cases. 


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