“Who” As A Subjective Pronoun And “Whom” As An Objective Pronoun
The English language can be quite tricky, particularly when it comes to pronouns. One common area of confusion is the use of “who” and “whom.” While both words refer to people, they serve different grammatical functions.
“Who” is used as a subjective pronoun, which means it acts as the subject of a sentence or clause. On the other hand, “whom” is used as an objective pronoun, functioning as the object of a verb or preposition.
For instance, consider the sentence, “Who is responsible for the project’s success?” In this case, “who” is the subject of the verb “is” and refers to the person who is responsible. Conversely, if we change the sentence to, “To whom should I address this question?” the word “whom” is used as the object of the preposition “to.”
“Most Of Whom” Vs. “Most Of Who”
Now that we understand the basic distinction between “who” and “whom,” let’s explore their usage in phrases such as “most of whom” and “most of who.” In this context, “most of whom” is correct, while “most of who” is incorrect. The word “most” indicates a majority or a large portion, and it requires the objective form “whom” to refer to the people being described.
Consider the sentence, “Most of whom attended the conference were experts in their field.” Here, “most” refers to the majority of people who attended the conference, and “whom” is the correct objective pronoun to use. Incorrectly using “who” instead of “whom” in this context would be grammatically incorrect.
Using Personal Pronouns As A Guide
To determine whether to use “who” or “whom,” it can be helpful to rely on personal pronouns. Substitute personal pronouns in place of the word in question and see if it works.
For example, if we use “he” and “him” instead of “who” and “whom” respectively in the sentence, “Who/Whom did you see at the party?” we can easily determine that “whom” is correct because we would say, “Did you see him at the party?” rather than “Did you see he at the party?”
“Who” For People, “Which” For Animals And Things
Although “who” is used to refer to people, it’s important to note that “which” is the appropriate pronoun when discussing animals and things. This distinction helps maintain clarity and avoids confusion in sentences.
For example, consider the sentence, “The dog, which has brown fur, is very energetic.” Here, “which” introduces additional information about the dog, indicating that the following clause pertains to its appearance or characteristics. Conversely, if we were referring to a person, we would use “who” and say, “The woman, who has brown hair, is very friendly.”
Specific Words To Follow “Many Of”
When using the phrase “many of,” it is essential to follow it with specific words such as “those,” “these,” or “them,” along with a noun. This construction provides clarity and ensures that the sentence is grammatically correct.
For instance, we could say, “Many of those students performed exceptionally well in the competition.” The word “those” identifies the specific group of students being referred to, making the sentence more precise and meaningful.
“Many” With Noun Or Noun Phrase Only
In contrast to “many of,” the word “many” is used without an article or pronoun and is followed strictly by a noun or noun phrase.
For example, we could say, “Many scientists believe in the theory of evolution.” Here, the word “many” stands alone, followed by the noun “scientists,” without the need for additional words such as “of” or pronouns like “them.”
Examples Of Correct Usage
- “The committee, most of whom are professors, conducted a thorough investigation.”
“The players, many of whom are injured, will not be participating in tomorrow’s game.”
3. “She is a talented artist whom I greatly admire.”
“Many of those runners completed the marathon in record time.”
In each of these examples, “whom” and “who” are used correctly, adhering to the grammatical rules and providing clear communication.
Summary Of Rules And Guidelines
To summarize, it is crucial to use “who” as a subjective pronoun and “whom” as an objective pronoun when referring to people. “Most of whom” is the correct phrase to use, while “most of who” is incorrect.
By using personal pronouns as a guide, we can determine which pronoun to use more easily. Remember that “who” is used for people, while “which” is used for animals and things.
“Many of” should be followed by specific words such as “those” or “these” and a noun, while “many” should be used with a noun or noun phrase alone. By following these rules and guidelines, we can ensure correct and effective communication in our writing and speech.