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To whom should I direct this question?

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Savage Quiescence
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since 07-29-2002
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0 posted 06-18-2004 04:03 PM       View Profile for Savage Quiescence   Email Savage Quiescence   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Savage Quiescence

How does one know when to use 'who' and when to use 'whom'? It has been explained to me before, but I left understanding no more in the end than in the beginning! Thanks!

"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" -Ghandi

Not A Poet
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1 posted 06-18-2004 11:48 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Whom is the objective case of who. It is used whenever the word word be the object of a preposition or a direct or indirect object of a sentence. Who/whom is exactly equivalent to he/him. If he would be proper usage then who would be too. Likewise, if him would be proper then whom would be. Really not all that complicated.

Examples:

Who was that masked man?
I received a call but I don't know from whom.

Perfect question for the English Workshop, by the way.

Savage Quiescence
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2 posted 06-19-2004 12:41 AM       View Profile for Savage Quiescence   Email Savage Quiescence   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Savage Quiescence

Thank you very much, the he/him explination was quite helpful!
Essorant
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3 posted 06-21-2004 08:44 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes, Pete said it well.


"Who was that masked man?
I received a call but I don't know from whom."


These are also good examples, I think, in how they are used best in interrogative manners and cases where there is uncertainy  rather than a certain specification.  Confusion caused by using them otherwise, is what causes me problems.  But when mind them as interrogative (questioning) and uncertain, they seem to work best.


"I know not whom you serve."

"Whom do you serve? "


"He is who I serve" sounds terrible.

It is better to say, "him I serve/ I serve him." Or specifically "The king I serve/ I serve the king"


Another mistake I think is trying to use both at the same time:

"He whom I serve knows best."

"Him I serve knows best." is probably best.

A knowing is being shown, therefore it is not necessary to say "whom I serve knows best".


If it refers to an unknown person though, "whom" shall be much more relevent.  

"Whom I serve in my next life time"


Hope that makes sense  
 
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