Who or Whom? Let’s Get Over With It!

Who or Whom? Let’s Get Over With It!


When it comes to common English mistakes, I think the ‘WHOM or WHO’ debate takes the no.1 position.

न सिर्फ English learners, बल्कि native English speakers भी अक्सर इनका प्रयोग करने में गलती कर बैठते हैं।

Well, today we’ll try to overcome this battle, once and for all.

हम सभी जानते हैं कि Whom और Who का प्रयोग ज़्यादातर interrogative sentences यानी question (प्रश्न) पूछने क लिए किया जाता है।

Before we go further, let me tell you a little something about the two very important things:


The subject of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that is either doing or being something.
In a way, the doer of the verb in the sentence is called as the SUBJECT.
वाक्य में verb यानी क्रिया को करने वाला कर्ता ‘subject’ कहलाता है।

OBJECT, on the other hand, is that entity of the sentence on which the work is being done.
Thus, an object is the receiver of the subject’s actions.
‘Object” वह है जिस पर verb यानी क्रिया का प्रभाव पड़ता है।

Now, according to formal grammar rules:

• Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.
Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

In short,
WHO = subject pronoun
WHOM = object pronoun

Well, it’s not.
Let’s understand with the help of examples.


To ask a question about the subject:

Who made this cake? (यह केक किसने बनाया है?)
Who wrote this letter?(यह पत्र किसने लिखा है?)

Here, ‘made’ and ‘wrote’ are the verbs. We know that the doer of the verb is the subject.
यहाँ यह स्पष्ट है कि सवाल ‘subject’ के बारे में है और इसलिए, हमने ‘who’ का इस्तेमाल किया?

As a subject pronoun:

• I know who stole your car. ( मुझे पता है की आपकी कार किसने चुराई है।)
• That is the woman who met me at the party.(यही वह महिला है जो मुझे पार्टी में मिली थी।)

इन sentences में हमने ‘who’ का प्रयोग इसलिए किया है क्यूंकि यहाँ भी verb (‘stole’ and ‘met’) को perform करने वाला यानी ‘subject’ के बारे में ही बताया जा रहा है।


To ask questions:

Whom has she married? (उसने किससे शादी की है?)
• To whom should I ask about this? (मुझे इस बारे में किससे पूछना चाहिए?)

Here you see that we used the word ‘whom’ for the receiver of the action done by the subject of the sentence.

पहले प्रश्न में subject है ‘she’, verb है ‘ married’. यहाँ object यानी receiver of the action (married) के बारे में पूछा गया है।

इसी प्रकार दूसरे वाक्य के subject – ‘I’ द्वारा किए जाने वाले कार्य यानी verb – ‘ask’ के receiver or object के सन्दर्भ में सवाल पूछा गया है।



If you are having trouble with all the rules and the subject-object blah blah (which I know that you are or else why would you look it up here?), then there is one easy-peasy trick that might come handy.

जब भी आप इस दुविधा में हैं कि ‘who’ और ‘whom’ में से किसका प्रयोग करना सही है, तब आपको बस इतना करना है कि इन words के जवाब में ‘he’ या ‘him’ का use करें और sentence को दोहराएं।

यदि आपके वाक्य में ‘he’ fit बैठता है तो आपको ‘who’ का प्रयोग करना है और यदि ‘him’ का प्रयोग सटीक लगे तब आपको sentence में ‘whom’ का use करना है।

For example:
Correct       Who made this cake?      –    He made this cake.
Whom made this cake?   –    Him made this cake.

Correct       Whom has she married?   –   She married him.
Who has she married?   –   She married he.

There is one more way to remember this:

Like whom, the pronoun him ends with the letter M.

So, if you can answer the question with ‘hiM‘, then use ‘whoM‘, and it’s easy to remember as they both end with M.

Get some more info on common confusions and mistakes with the help of our other blogs:
Uninterested vs Disinterested
Caret, Carat, Karat: Differences and Usage
Sympathy Vs. Empathy

Don’t forget to download our English learning dictionary app Hinkhoj

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