Whom Are You Going To Call?

WRITTEN November 30, 2014 Author: Rich Atkins
Using Who or Whom when writing.

WHO or WHOM? We all know that there’s a difference between when to use WHO or when to use WHOM. But could you explain what to do? 

The confusion between who and whom when writing is an issue that many people struggle with. As language evolves, common every day speech is much more forgiving on the usage of words like whom.  But when you are writing, it is important to use the words correctly. Remember, to others who are not speaking with you, your writing is a direct reflection on you and your work.

WHO is the subject case and WHOM is the object case.

  • Who is going with him? [WHO is the subject.]
  • She is going with whom?
    [WHOM is the object of the preposition with.]
  • To whom it may concern. [WHOM is the object of the preposition to.]

Questions – Inverted Word Order

Sometimes, questions use inverted word order (in which the verb frequently comes before the subject). To determine the subject and predicate, it may be necessary to reorder the words so that the subject comes first.

  • To whom should I address this email?
    I should address this email to whom.
  • Who shall I say is calling?
    I shall say who is calling.
  • Who do you think will win the award?
    You do think who will win the award.


Substitute “he” or “she” for who in the sentence to hear if it sounds correct: Who ordered more supplies for the mailroom? Heordered more supplies for the mailroom.

Substitute “him” or “her” for whom in the sentence to hear if it sounds correct: I should address this email to whom? I should address this email to her.

This information is from the Improving Communications BUSINESS GRAMMAR & USAGE class. Click here to register for our next NYC class. If you’re looking for other ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our upcoming  PUBLIC CLASSES.

The bottom line is…use WHO when it is a SUBJECT and use WHOM when it is an OBJECT. Keep to that rule and you will be set!

Other Resources:

Who Cares About Who & Whom Anymore?

Who or Whom Get It Right Every Time With These 3 Tricks

Improve Your English: WHO or WHOM? (Video)

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