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I've read through many of the previous posts on this subject (such as this one). It is like reading a foreign language seeing "object of the preposition" and "nominative vs. objective case." Would you please indulge a native speaker who was taught through example and thus never dissected sentences? I would be very grateful!

In a letter I am writing, the following sentence appears:

However, there are many things that I am unclear about and I do not know who to ask.

Microsoft is telling me to change the who to whom. I don't put much trust in Microsoft's success rates at grammar checking. Emotion: stick out tongue I know a correct phrase is "Whom should I ask?" but I don't understand why that is correct. I know it was answered in the thread I linked above, but I frankly don't understand what the difference is.

To be clear, I do want to know the actual rule and not the every day verbal usage. Is there a way I can understand this without an entire re-do of basic English?

I look forward to your responses,
Katie Beth
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Comments  (Page 2) 
<What about the him/he rule, then?>

Yes...you have to feel a little sorry for it...
At the risk of outraging the purists, I think this is an example of where modern usage has supplanted a previous "rule". Very few modern English speakers use the word "whom" in normal conversation. Indeed, most would be far more surprised to hear it spoken in a sentence, than by its its "non" appearance in a sentence where the "rule" says it "should" be.

So I would advise both native and non native speakers not to worry, and use "who" in all circumstances.

I await the thunderbolt.....
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
None from me... It's just that now I'm at a loss at what to teach students... Emotion: indifferent
LeicesterLad At the risk of outraging the purists, I think this is an example of where modern usage has supplanted a previous "rule". Very few modern English speakers use the word "whom" in normal conversation. Indeed, most would be far more surprised to hear it spoken in a sentence, than by its its "non" appearance in a sentence where the "rule" says it "should" be.

So I would advise both native and non native speakers not to worry, and use "who" in all circumstances.

I await the thunderbolt.....Emotion: lightning Emotion: lightning Emotion: lightning But we can find "whom" in 2,170,000 pages on gov.uk, 779,000 on bbc.uk, 167,000 on nytimes.com, and 221,000 on CNN.com. Should English learners give up reading them?

paco
Paco2004
LeicesterLad
I await the thunderbolt.....Emotion: lightning Emotion: lightning Emotion: lightning But we can find "whom" in 2,170,000 pages on gov.uk, 779,000 on bbc.uk, 167,000 on nytimes.com, and 221,000 on CNN.com. Should English learners give up reading them?

paco

No, but pedants should also not insist on us using "whom" in spoken English. These are the fugures from the BNC on use in various registers:

REGISTER:

SPOKEN - 271



FICTION - 1,864



NEWS - 903



ACADEMIC - 2,690



NONFIC MISC - 2,566

OTHER MISC - 4,302

http://view.byu.edu /
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Milky
Paco2004
LeicesterLad
I await the thunderbolt.....Emotion: lightning Emotion: lightning Emotion: lightning But we can find "whom" in 2,170,000 pages on gov.uk, 779,000 on bbc.uk, 167,000 on nytimes.com, and 221,000 on CNN.com. Should English learners give up reading them?

paco

No, but they should also not insist on us using "whom" in spoken English. These are the fugure from the BNC on use in various registers:

REGISTER
SPOKEN

271

FICTION

1,864

NEWS

903

ACADEMIC

2,690

NONFIC MISC

2,566

OTHER MISC

4,302

I can't access all what you pasted. Are they milky spams? Emotion: smile


Paco2004
Milky
I can't access all what you pasted. Are they milky spams? Emotion: smile
Patience is a virtue, Paco. Try the edited version.
Hi Milky

Sounds like the link is nice. We lerners online want to know what word is used in which register. Thank you a lot.

paco
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.

Hi Beth,


Simply, every sentence has a subject, a verb, and an object. The correct phrase "Whom should I ask?" is a great example: who is doing the asking - you are, so that makes "I" the subject of the sentence. Ask is the verb, because it is the action you are making and Whom is the receiver of the asking which make it the object. Whom is used when it is the object, Who is used when it is the subject of the sentence. If you put the sentence in order of the subject, verb and object it would read "I should ask whom?" Although the correct way to phrase the sentence is "Whom should I ask?" Whom is still the receiver of the asking or the question. I hope this answers your question somewhat, otherwise you will still have to double check your grammar. I used Grammarly.com as my guide.


Good luck!

Pat

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