Who vs. Whom

Who vs. Whom

The who vs. whom rule is much less complicated than you might expect. It’s all about subjects and objects.

In a sentence, the subject is the person, place, or thing that is doing or being something.

In the sentence, “Linda ate breakfast,” for example, “Linda” is the subject. She is doing something (eating breakfast). Linda is also the subject in the sentence, “Linda was sad.” Here, Linda is being something (sad).

A sentence’s object is the person or thing being acted upon. For instance, in the sentence, “Fred kicked the ball,” the ball is the direct object. It’s being acted upon (kicked).

How does this all relate to who vs. whom?

You use “who” to refer to subjects, and you use “whom” to refer to objects.

To learn more about who vs. whom, review WriteLab’s Guide.


WriteLab brings together Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, and English Language Instruction. Student writing is analyzed in seconds with the WriteLab app—giving students feedback and suggestions on how to revise and polish their draft.

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