• Robin Glembotzky

Whom or Who? Which is what??

One of the biggest changes on the 2016 SAT overhaul was the Writing section. It is now, very similar, to the ACT English section. Both are testing your understanding of grammar and word usage, along with writing style. The SAT is a little more focused on writing style and argument, while the ACT is more focused on grammar.

So, while each has a, slightly, different focus, one thing you can count on is this. There WILL be a question that requires you to know the difference between using "who" and "whom".

While this confuses many high school students (and, in fact, most of the general public), there are a few ways to help you figure it out.

First, remember that who and whom are pronouns. Yes, they are!! And what is a pronoun? Just a word that takes the place of a noun. Is it a subject or an object? It depends on the use in a sentence.


Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.

For example- Steve is the student who has the highest test scores.


Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

For example-Steve is the student whom the school gave an award.


But how do you choose?


Break the sentence into two parts.

Steve is the student. He (Steve) has the highest test scores.

If you can use I, he, she, we or they, then the correct form is who.


Steve is the student. The school gave him (Steve) an award.

If you use me, him, her, us or them, then you would use whom.


Also, keep in mind, if you can omit whom/who completely, the correct form is whom. If you need it? It's who.


If you run into a question ("who/whom should I invite to the prom?") turn it into a statement and use the above guidelines.

I should invite - her- to the prom.

When you turn the question into a statement, you use the pronoun her, so whom is correct.


Make sense?

Try some of my suggestions. I'll bet you get the hang of it quickly!!




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