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Who or Whom

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:21 pm
by Brien Sz
The who/whom dilemma has struck me.
The question is which one to use in the following sentence: The New Testament is full of people about whom/who we know little.

Thank you.

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:42 pm
by wdarcy
In this case, "whom" would be correct. One way to check it is to replace "who" and "whom" with "he" and "him." You wouldn't say "we know about he," you would say "we know about him." So not "we know about who," but "we know about whom." Or putting it in proper order, "about whom we know."

--warren

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:44 pm
by Pat James
[quote="Brien Sz"]The who/whom dilemma has struck me.
The question is which one to use in the following sentence: The New Testament is full of people about whom/who we know little.

Thank you.[/quote]
===

Didn't that distinction go away with thee and thou vs you?

I would use who. Folks who are pretentious would use whom.

This is the rule I had in school.
When in doubt, try this simple trick: If you can replace the word with “he”' or “'she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom.

But in cases like this make no sense to help figure out which is right.

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:05 am
by Brien Sz
I like that, Warren. Never heard it put that way. Makes more sense than anything I can recall ever hearing.

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:54 pm
by T.A.Rodgers
This is one of those areas where it's good to know the rules, but one I choose not to follow. I'm sure Paul will cringe, but I never use whom. I rarely read a novel written today that uses whom. It's just one of those words that seems archaic. When I do see it in a novel it makes me stop reading. I then have to re-read the sentence. This is something I do not want a reader to do while reading my novel. I want them getting through each page as fast as possible. Stopping to re-read something takes me out of the story. :(

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:22 pm
by wdarcy
We could of course eliminate the problem entirely by altering the sentence to:

The New Testament is full of people we know little about.

That sounds more natural to me, and is closer to the way people would actually talk.

--Warren

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:22 pm
by Brien Sz
Warren - that sentence was my original sentence but it was pointed out that I should not end my sentence in a preposition for the first sentence of the piece.

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:39 pm
by wdarcy
Oh, I see, Brien. I generally disregard that rule, but if an editor tells you to follow it, of course you should.

But if this is a piece of non-fiction, then I would say "whom" is perfectly okay. After all, non-fiction is generally more formal than fiction.

--Warren

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:24 pm
by Brien Sz
It's religious historical fiction.

Re: Who or Whom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:36 pm
by wdarcy
If it's fiction, I would say your original sentence is fine.

--Warren