“Who” or “Whom”?

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

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!

Happy punctuating!

Margie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *