The person (whom) I told you about



The sentence "The person I told you about" sounds like a natural English sentence to me (correct me if I'm wrong), but I was wondering about "The person whom I told you about," "The woman whom the article is about" etc. I'm pretty sure that the whom in here is correct, and to my knowledge it is okay to omit the relative clause whenever it's the object; but since the first sentence is way more common than the other two, and I only found few sentences like the last two on Google, I'm interesting in knowing how native speakers consider them. Are they formal, over-formal, or are they awkward and I should always omit the "whom" in them?
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    "The person I told you about" sounds like a natural English sentence to me (correct me if I'm wrong)
    It's not a sentence, but the grammar of this phrase looks normal.

    "Whom" is uncommon in U.S. English if the sentence ends in a preposition. This is the normal version: The person who/that I told you about. Or: The person I told you about.

    "Whom" is still ordinary when that word comes immediately after a preposition: The person about whom they were talking wasn't present in the room. I see this type of construction - "about/for/with whom" - in print far more often than I hear it in speech.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - California
    While it is technically correct, I would say that it sounds slightly over-formal. I certainly wouldn't recommend using it most of the time, but if you do happen to use it it's not a mistake. For general use, in short sentences like "The person I told you about" I think using no relative pronoun is the most neutral-sounding option. "The person about whom I told you", with "about" brought to the start, sounds fairly affected to me, and personally I wouldn't even use it it writing. I think part of the reason is that this sentence is part of a dialogue, so excessive formality really sounds unnatural; for a sentence in a formally-written paper, this kind of structure might fit better.


    Senior Member
    Do native speakers consider the following sentence correct:
    This is my friend Adam, about whom I told you.


    Senior Member
    do you mean it should be like:
    This is my friend Adam, about whom I told you about.
    Secondly what is the difference if we say:
    This is my friend Adam, who I told you about.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, that's grammatical, but you would never hear it. ". . .whom I told you about" is what I would say.