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In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the titular characters futilely exclaims “Dumbledore!” (his late headmaster) “because it was he whom he yearned to see.” Why would it not be “it was him whom he yearned to see?” Please advise. Thanks!
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anonymousWhy would it not be “it was him whom he yearned to see?”

"it was he whom" is OK. The writer is being very formal. In ordinary conversation we use "it was him". And in fact, we would not even say "it was he whom" at all. We would say "because he was the one he wanted to see".

CJ

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CalifJim
anonymousWhy would it not be “it was him whom he yearned to see?”

"it was he whom" is OK. The writer is being very formal. In ordinary conversation we use "it was him". And in fact, we would not even say "it was he whom" at all. We would say "because he was the one he wanted to see".

CJ

Thank you for your response! Would “it was he who he yearned to see” also work?
acoolenoughkidWould “it was he who he yearned to see” also work?

It would get the idea across as well as the others, but it's a mix of formal (it was he) and informal (who he yearned ...) styles, so it doesn't work stylistically. That makes it sound a bit weird.

CJ

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