We continue with this dilemma, sometimes stretching to “look good.” Here is a sentence from an article about the golf tournament over the weekend:
…The fact that so many cheered was confirmation of whom the people thought was the bad guy.
Prior to this sentence in the article, there were a couple of mistakes: a verb left out of a sentence, a misplaced modifier — indicative, I think, of an increasing decline in the way the language is used.
So who or whom? And why?
Because who/whom comes right after the preposition, the author probably thought it should be whom. The fact is the entire clause “whom…guy” is the object of the preposition. It is a noun clause.
So how do you figure out who/whom? You turn the clause around and look at it in normal word order:
…the people thought who/whom was the bad guy…
You see that you are looking for a subject. Put in he/him if that helps you.
Who it is!