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hello grammarians welcome to one of the thorniest fights in English usage today the question of whether or not you should use who or whom in a sentence as a relative pronoun so there's this basic idea that who is the subject form and whom is the object form which means that if we're talking about someone who is the doer then we say who as in the Spy Who Loved me as opposed to someone who is Dewey the object as in the spy whom I loved you see because in this sentence who is the subject and in this sentence I is the subject me is the object and whom is the object I'd loved whom in this sentence I am doing the loving in this sentence it is the spy who is doing the loving that's the basic rule but this does not adequately reflect the way our culture actually uses and has used whom or who for some time in many cases it has become permissible to use who as an object let me show you what I mean so the thing to remember is that the basic rule is a one-way street because the Wayne language is changing whom is on its way out I imagine in another 50 75 years we won't be using it at all is that sad sure a little bit I mean I'm sad that nobody ever uses the pronoun who so as in who so pulleth this sword from this stone is rightwise born King of England we don't use that anymore it's old-fashioned now we say whoever and that's okay so we know that the basic rule is that you use who as a subject and whom is an object but you can also now use who as an object the only thing you can't do is whom is not a subject that's the thing you need to remember is that whom's use is not expanding it is contracting who is taking over some of whom's duties so let's go back to that spy example so here are the four possible options right the Spy Who Loved me this by whom loved me the spy who I loved and the spy whom I loved now of these only this one is incorrect because we're trying to use whom as a subject but here the spy who I loved where who is being an object by the informal rules of our grammar today this is fine either of these is fine the only one that's not fine is this guy right here the Spy Who Loved me because this language change is going in one direction and it's in the direction of whom being used less often so whom never expands from its original position who does so the next time you're puzzling over what to do in the event of the sentence who are you talking to and whether or not this pronoun here should be who or whom it's really an issue of tone rather than correctness because they're both both possibilities are equally understandable yes technically if you wanted to be very correct you would say whom are you talking to or you are talking to whom because whom is the object of this preposition it's to whom and so therefore we would use the object form but you find that when you separate it out in this question when you when you put the two at the end and the whom question particle at the beginning this M just kind of falls away because we're we're more likely to use whom when it's immediately preceded by a preposition but otherwise it's probably more likely gonna be who which is why it's not that big of a deal to say who are you talking to it's not technically correct but it's been used for so long that it's fine you are talking to who is a little bit more formal of a construction and therefore you would probably want to use whom saying you are talking to who is not as common so in this Wilder swamp of rule-breaking there is one hard grammar rule to pay attention to and it's just never used whom as a subject the role of whom our constellation of pronouns is decreasing not expanding who is taking over whom and since who is the subject whom is not moving into that space whom is the object pronoun and you use it when you're feeling fancy you can learn anything David out