Who Else or Whom Else? Correct Version (With Examples)

Marcus Froland

Picture this: You’re drafting an important email, and you hit a snag. The sentence reads “I will send the report to who else?” Suddenly, you pause. Should that be “whom else”? It sounds a bit off, but then again, English has its quirks. This tiny word can throw even the most confident speakers for a loop.

It’s not just about sounding smart or impressing your grammar-loving friends. Using “who” and “whom” correctly can make your communication clearer and more professional. But here’s the kicker: figuring out which one to use isn’t as hard as it seems. So before you send out that email or polish off that report, let’s clear up the confusion once and for all.

Many people wonder if they should use “Who Else” or “Whom Else” in sentences. The correct version to use is “Who Else.” This is because “who” acts as the subject of a verb, and it’s easier to use in casual and formal English. “Whom” is used when referring to the object of a verb or preposition, but it’s less common in everyday conversation. So, when you’re talking or writing about someone doing something, “Who Else” is the right choice. Remember, keeping your language simple helps in clear communication.

Understanding the Grammar: Subject vs. Object Pronouns

In order to grasp the distinctions between “who” and “whom” as well as their appropriate usage, it is essential to understand the difference between subject and object pronouns. Let us examine their definitions, roles in sentence construction, and the correct application when forming questions.

Defining Subject and Object Pronouns

A subject pronoun is used as the doer of the verb’s action, while an object pronoun receives the action of the verb as its object. In layman’s terms, the subject pronoun affects the object pronoun while performing an action. For example:

Lucy (subject pronoun) baked a cake for me (object pronoun).

Here, “Lucy” is doing the action of baking, and “me” is receiving the cake as the object of the action.

In the case of interrogative pronouns, “who” functions as a subject pronoun, and “whom” operates as an object pronoun.

The Role of “Who” and “Whom” in a Sentence

Who typically serves as the subject that performs the verb’s action and is usually followed in a sentence by a verb. In contrast, whom follows a verb or preposition as the object of the clause and is a different subject pronoun. Take a look at these examples:

  1. Who made this delicious pasta?
  2. Whom should I give this package to?

In the first example, “who” is followed by a verb, “made,” indicating it serves as the subject performing the action. In the second sentence, “whom” plays the role of the object because it comes after the preposition “to” and the subject pronoun “I.”

Identifying the Subject and Object in Questions

When formulating questions, it helps to distinguish between the subject and the object to ensure accurate usage of “who” and “whom.” Reflect on the grammatical roles and structures while forming and answering questions. It might be useful to practice by converting questions into statements to facilitate the identification process. Here are some examples:

Question Equivalent Statement Pronoun Used
Who is baking cookies? Someone is baking cookies. Subject Pronoun – Who
Whom should I call? I should call someone. Object Pronoun – Whom

These examples demonstrate that by converting questions into statements while focusing on the grammatical roles of the pronouns, you can confidently use “who” and “whom” correctly in your questions.

Common Mistakes and Misconceptions

Using the correct pronoun in a sentence might seem overwhelming for most people, notably when it comes to “who” and “whom.” Despite the grammatical rules, it’s not uncommon for speakers to make errors or misunderstand the usage of these two pronouns. In this section, we will address the common grammar mistakes and misconceptions about “who” and “whom” usage.

Related:  Is It Correct to Say “And Then”?

Mistake #1: Using “whom” as a subject pronoun.

Incorrect: Whom will be attending the conference?
Correct: Who will be attending the conference?

Mistake #2: Using “who” as an object pronoun.

Incorrect: To who should I address this letter?
Correct: To whom should I address this letter?

Another misconception is that “whom” is always interchangeable with “who,” thus opting for the latter in every circumstance. Although “who” has become widely accepted as both subject and object in informal contexts, it’s crucial to use the appropriate one based on the formality of the situation.

Some speakers perceive “whom” as overly formal and archaic. Although the use of “whom” has gradually decreased due to the influence of informal communication, it’s still essential to recognize its appropriate usage in formal contexts. The table below summarizes the correct context for using “who” and “whom.”

Pronoun Correct Usage Incorrect Usage
Who As a subject pronoun in both formal and informal contexts. As an object pronoun in informal contexts, except when the sentence is very formal or structured.
Whom As an object pronoun in formal contexts and as the object of a preposition. As a subject pronoun or as an object pronoun in informal contexts.

Understanding these common mistakes and misconceptions will help you develop a better grasp of the correct pronoun usage. It’s essential to use sound judgment and consider the context and formality of the situation when deciding between “who” and “whom.” Remember to practice and pay close attention to how others use these pronouns in different settings to improve your mastery of the English language.

The Evolution of Language: How Usage Is Changing

As language evolves, so does the way we use pronouns. Modern English has seen a paradigm shift in the usage of “who” and “whom,” with traditional grammar rules adapting to more colloquial expressions. Let us look more closely at how these changes affect the way we talk and write throughout the day.

Examples of Evolving Usage in Modern English

Many of the grammar rules we learned in school are now undergoing significant changes. For example, in the past, “Whom did you meet?” would be considered standard. However, today, most English speakers are more likely to say “Who did you meet?”

He is the one for whom I have been waiting.

He is the one who I have been waiting for.

The second sentence, though once considered incorrect, has now become widely acceptable and reflects the shift towards more informal communication.

Another example of this phenomenon is the declining use of “whom” in questions that involve a preposition.

With whom were you talking?

Who were you talking with?

Though grammatical purists may argue in favor of the first sentence, the second sentence is more commonly used in everyday speech.

The Impact of Informal Communication on Grammar

One of the main driving forces behind this change in English grammar is the pervasive influence of informal communication. With the rise of social media, texting, and email, language has taken on a more casual tone, leading to the widespread preference for “who” over “whom.” This trend aligns with the overarching goal of simplicity and ease of understanding.

Communication Mode Level of Formality Preferred Pronoun
Traditional Letters Formal Whom (object)
Email Semi-Formal Who/Whom (depending on context)
Text Messages Informal Who (both subject and object)
Social Media Informal Who (both subject and object)
Related:  Prefer To/Over/Than - Easy Preposition Guide (With Examples)

As a result of these changing communication mediums, formal grammar rules have evolved to align more with everyday language. While “whom” is still acknowledged in some formal settings, its prevalence has diminished, making way for “who” to become the preferred choice in modern English usage.

A shift from formal to informal communication has significantly impacted English grammar, leading to a more colloquial approach to language. This transformation has resulted in the growing preference for “who” over “whom” and the continuous evolution of language to enhance comprehension and clarity.

Formal vs. Informal Contexts: When to Use “Who” and “Whom”

The distinction between formal and informal language is essential to consider when deciding between the use of “who” and “whom.” As language evolves, context plays a crucial role in determining which pronoun is appropriate in a given situation. In this section, we’ll explore when it’s best to use “who” and “whom” in both formal and informal contexts.

Generally, “who” is considered appropriate for both formal and informal language. It can be used as both a subject and an object pronoun in informal contexts, making it versatile and acceptable in most situations. On the other hand, “whom” is typically reserved for more structured and formal situations, where precision and adherence to traditional grammar rules are important.

In informal language, “who” is more commonly used than “whom,” even when the latter should technically be the correct pronoun.

To better understand the differences between formal and informal language, let’s look at some examples:

  • In a casual conversation with friends or family members, you might say, “Who do you think should get the last slice of pizza?” as opposed to “Whom do you think should get the last slice of pizza?”
  • During a job interview or a professional meeting, you might ask, “To whom should I address my cover letter?” instead of “To who should I address my cover letter?”

Although the modern trend leans toward using “who” in most contexts, it’s still essential to be mindful of your audience and the level of formality required in a given situation. By understanding when to use “who” and “whom” correctly, you can ensure that your communication is both effective and appropriate for the context.

Context “Who” Usage “Whom” Usage
Informal Commonly used as both a subject and an object pronoun Less frequent or even regarded as unnecessarily formal
Formal Used primarily as a subject pronoun Used as an object pronoun (following traditional grammar rules)

In summary, while “who” is widely accepted in both formal and informal language, “whom” should be reserved for formal situations where adherence to traditional grammar rules is important. By being mindful of the context and your audience, you can choose the appropriate pronoun to ensure effective communication.

Real-world Examples: “Who Else” and “Whom Else” in Action

Understanding the proper use of “who else” and “whom else” is easier when we can see practical examples in real-world contexts. In this section, we’ll provide examples of both pronouns in everyday communication and formal writing, highlighting their correct application.

Who else is coming to the party tonight?

In this casual conversation, “who else” is applied correctly as the subject pronoun. Notice that it is directly followed by the verb “is.”

To whom else should I address the invitation?

Here, “whom else” is used correctly as the object pronoun in a formal context, indicating the recipient of the action. It is followed by the subject pronoun “I.”

For a clearer grasp of when to use “who else” and “whom else,” let’s examine a table with more practical examples:

Related:  Mastering the Simple Present Tense in American English
Context Correct Pronoun Usage Example
Everyday communication Who else Who else wants to join us for dinner?
Formal writing Whom else With whom else can we discuss our proposal?
Social media post Who else Who else is excited for the new Avengers movie?
Business email Whom else Please let us know to whom else we should send the invoice.

It’s essential to keep your audience in mind and the level of formality required while crafting sentences using “who else” or “whom else.” With these examples, you now have a clearer understanding of which pronoun to choose in various real-world scenarios, improving your pronoun application and communication skills.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Pronoun

Selecting the appropriate pronoun can significantly impact effective communication. Understanding the nuances of pronoun selection and adapting your language to suit your audience and the context in which you are communicating is essential for conveying your message clearly.

When in doubt, choose “who else” over “whom else” for a more natural, accessible tone.

Consider these key takeaways to guide your pronoun choices:

  • Remember the grammar rules that differentiate “who” and “whom.”
  • Be mindful of formal and informal contexts, knowing when to use “whom” sparingly.
  • Embrace the evolving nature of language and usage trends.

Key Takeaways for Effective Communication

Effective communication relies on clarity, accuracy, and adaptability. By mastering pronoun selection and ensuring that you apply the right form in a given context, you can greatly improve your communication skills and foster better understanding with your audience.

Additional Resources for English Grammar Mastery

By learning more about grammar ideas, you can make big improvements to how you use the English language. The following educational resources offer comprehensive insights into various grammar tips and English learning techniques:

  1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
  2. Grammarly – an AI-based writing assistant for grammar and style check
  3. Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) – a reputable online resource for writing and research guidance
  4. The Chicago Manual of Style by University of Chicago Press Staff
  5. Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum

Regularly consulting these resources and incorporating their recommendations into your writing and communication repertoire will help refine your grammar proficiency and English learning journey.


In summary, the proper usage of “who else” and “whom else” makes a noticeable difference in effective communication. While both pronouns serve unique purposes, “who” is generally viewed as more versatile and suitable for most contexts. On the other hand, “whom” may still hold a place in formal settings where precise language is required. By understanding the underlying grammar rules and recognizing the distinction between subject and object pronouns, you will be well equipped to make informed decisions in your writing and speech.

As language continuously evolves, it’s essential to stay informed about the shifting trends in English grammar in order to achieve language mastery. By taking into account the impact of informal communication on pronoun usage and adapting to modern tendencies, you can effectively navigate the ever-changing landscape of the English language.

Ultimately, striving for grammar excellence not only enhances your written and verbal communication skills but also boosts your credibility as an individual. Investing time and effort to learn the nuances of proper pronoun usage will undoubtedly facilitate greater understanding, clarity, and persuasiveness in your interactions with others. Embrace your journey to refined English communication and unlock the full potential of your linguistic abilities.

You May Also Like: