the girl who/whom I saw

Buenas,

En los siguientes ejemplos me gustaría saber si es intercambiable el "whom" por el "who" y si signifaría lo mismo?

- She is the girl whom/who I saw at the party last night
- The woman whom/who you saw yesterday is my teacher
- The boy whom/who the policemen rescued from the boat was terrified

Gracias,
 
  • Vicario

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Buenas,

    En los siguientes ejemplos me gustaría saber si es intercambiable el "whom" por el "who" y si signifaría lo mismo?

    - She is the girl whom/who I saw at the party last night
    - The woman whom/who you saw yesterday is my teacher
    - The boy whom/who the policemen rescued from the boat was terrified

    Gracias,
    Si quieres hablar bien y dar una buena impresión en Inglaterra, usarías 'whom' en tus frases. Son complementos directos del verbo (the policeman rescued the boy etc.). Es una lástima que 'whom' desaparezca poco a poco de la lengua hablada y que casi todo el mundo diría 'who'. Pero 'whom' es correcto.
     

    Borges

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    You use who when you are referring to the subject of a clause and whom when you are referring to the object of a clause. She is the girl who ...
    The woman whom you saw ...
    The boy whom the policeman rescued....
     

    Borges

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Vicario, I think the first one is who not whom. I'll just say that for native speakers these are VERY often gotten wrong. Unfortunately, I can't exclude myself from the
    error prone. :)
     

    Borges

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Pero entonces, como aclaración ¿estarían bien expresadas las tres frases con "who"?
    No. I believe the last two require "whom". I will say again however, that very few Americans would even notice in spoken speech if you say "who" in all three sentences. Maybe more native speakers can chime in here but if you say "whom" in spoken speech it almost draws your attention and you think "Wow, they are speaking very grammatically." :) :)
     

    Vicario

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No. I believe the last two require "whom". I will say again however, that very few Americans would even notice in spoken speech if you say "who" in all three sentences. Maybe more native speakers can chime in here but if you say "whom" in spoken speech it almost draws your attention and you think "Wow, they are speaking very grammatically." :) :)
     

    Vicario

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No. All three require 'whom'. I thought you liked Downton Abbey over there! It's that kind of context you might hear it in most, but it is correct, honestly.
     

    St. Nick

    Senior Member
    English
    If the relative clauses were non-restrictive, e.g., 'The boy, whom the police had rescued from the boat, was terrified,' the use of "whom" would be easier to digest. But, because all three of the relative clauses are restrictive in your examples, the pronoun "whom" ends up sounding clumsy. Employing the relative pronoun "that" makes life a lot easier when the subject of the sentence plays both a subjective and an objective role within the same structure.
     

    Istriano

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    The normal practice in modern English is to use who instead of whom (and, where applicable, to put the preposition at the end of the sentence): who do you wish to speak to?; who do you think we should support? Such uses are today broadly accepted in standard English.
    Source: Oxford Dictionary of English
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/who?region=uk#who__10


    Whom is a more formal word than who and is not commonly used in ordinary speech and writing, where it can seem awkward and unnatural.
    Source: Merriam Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    :)

    http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/whom
     

    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    Dear dominoolivares,
    Let me approach it this way. Do you understand the difference between "they" and "them" as in

    They gave them the book. or
    They gave it to them.

    It's the difference between subject/object. It's also the same difference with

    Who gave whom the book? or
    Who gave it to to whom?

    It's really not that difficult—except few native speakers make this distinction. Perhaps it was a distinction that was once made, at least by educated speakers. Perhaps is is one of those distinctions that the grammar police once tried to enforce (the war is now obviously lost). Perhaps it's a distinction that is worth making. For some, it is a distinction that can be made when useful, but nothing is worst than using "whom" when "who" is the correct choice, at least for us with sensitive ears.

    Regarding your specific sentences.

    She is the girl whom I saw. (Answers the question Whom did you see?)
    She is the girl who saw me. (Who saw you?)

    She is the girl who I saw. (Most everyone accepts this as standard, or, at least, everyday usage.)
    *She is the girl whom saw me. (Ouch!!!, this hurts my ears.)

    I also want to second St. Nick's suggestion that you use "that." "Whom" can sound either snobbish or educated, depending on your listener.
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    And another option is to completely omit the relative pronoun. (She's the girl I saw.../The woman you saw.../The boy the policeman rescued...) I find this totally acceptable, but I suppose some natives will object.
     

    Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    And another option is to completely omit the relative pronoun. (She's the girl I saw.../The woman you saw.../The boy the policeman rescued...) I find this totally acceptable, but I suppose some natives will object.
    This native agrees with you completely.
     

    Amante

    Senior Member
    English
    One of the few times that whom is used these days is : the person with whom I was speaking, but you could just as easily say the person I was speaking with. It's easier and far more commonly used.
     

    Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    One of the few times that whom is used these days is : the person with whom I was speaking, but you could just as easily say the person I was speaking with. It's easier and far more commonly used.
    Remebering, of course, that 'speak with' is North American usage; 'speak to' is British English.
     

    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Si quieres hablar bien y dar una buena impresión en Inglaterra, usarías 'whom' en tus frases. Son complementos directos del verbo (the policeman rescued the boy etc.). Es una lástima que 'whom' desaparezca poco a poco de la lengua hablada y que casi todo el mundo diría 'who'. Pero 'whom' es correcto.
    It’s not a shame at all. It’s just way too hard to figure out the grammatical analysis on the fly while you are speaking. The only time I might use whom is immediately following a preposition (my personal usage rule). I only bother to do the analysis in formal writing.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Whom is objective case. Modern English has no accusative, dative, instrumental, prepositional, or ablative case.

    Whom is appropriate for direct and indirect objects and for objects of prepositions. It is never appropriate as a subject.

    In the sentences in #1, I would either omit the relative pronoun altogether or use whom.
     

    Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi Forero,
    OE had four cases: nominative, accusative, genitive and dative – no instrumental or prepositional (as found in Russian, for example) nor an ablative case (as in Latin, for example).
    Just a reminder that, in BrE, grammarians prefer 'that' as the relative in #1 as it introduces a restrictive clause. In practice, as you also suggest, we would probably omit the relative pronoun in the examples given.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hi Forero,
    OE had four cases: nominative, accusative, genitive and dative – no instrumental or prepositional (as found in Russian, for example) nor an ablative case (as in Latin, for example).
    Just a reminder that, in BrE, grammarians prefer 'that' as the relative in #1 as it introduces a restrictive clause. In practice, as you also suggest, we would probably omit the relative pronoun in the examples given.
    If we are talking about Old English, I believe it did have an instrumental case originally.

    But I was just saying that Modern English whom is objective case, suitable for any kind of object. It is not "dative".
     
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