Who I am or Whom I am?

nguyen dung

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Why we do not write "Whom I am?" but we write "Who I am?"?Beacause after "am" is an object, so we should use "whom"?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Sorry, nguyen dung, I would write neither "Whom I am?" nor "Who I am?"

    Both of those seem wrong to me as stand-alone sentences.

    Perhaps you could explain where you would want to write them?
     

    S1m0n

    Senior Member
    English
    You will never be wrong if you always use who, and never whom. Whom is dying out. You can show off your expertise by learning to use it correctly, but most native speakers of english can't do so unless they're over 50 or have studied english formally, so only the educated will even know you got it right.
    To figure out when to use which, try to rewrite the sentence with he and him instead of who or whom. Anywhere you would use him is safe to use whom.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    As sdgraham says, with the verb be there is no object, so no objective (accusative) case. "Who" is not the object of "say".
    You say [that I am who].

    - Who do you say that I am? can be rephrased: You say that I am who?
    - I say that you are Batman.
    - :eek: I am who?
     

    Sarp84224

    Member
    English (UK)
    You will never be wrong if you always use who, and never whom. Whom is dying out. You can show off your expertise by learning to use it correctly, but most native speakers of english can't do so unless they're over 50 or have studied english formally, so only the educated will even know you got it right.
    To figure out when to use which, try to rewrite the sentence with he and him instead of who or whom. Anywhere you would use him is safe to use whom.
    Recently, you told me I was wrong for using whom, when in fact I was correct for using it.

    Who/Whom are you calling useless?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is a kind of perverse logic that might cause someone to think that "who" should be "whom" in "Who do you say I am?":
    1. One possible answer to this question might be "I say you are him".
    2. "Him" is an object pronoun.
    3. "Who" in the question has the same function as "him" in the answer, therefore it should use the object pronoun "whom".
    "Him" in "I say you are him" is a subject complement, and it is common in modern English for subject complements to use object pronouns, although in historical formally correct usage they should be subject pronouns, a change in usage very similar to the abandoning of "whom" in ordinary English. However, while "you are he" has changed to become "you are him", "you are who?" has never changed to become "you are whom?", which remains as incorrect as it always has been.
     
    Last edited:

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    Why we do not write "Whom I am?" but we write "Who I am?" Beacause after "am" is an object, so we should use "whom"?
    Traditional grammar says that the nominative form should be used where a personal pronoun is complement of "be". But there is no such rule: the verb "be" can take an accusative (objective) case pronoun. For example,

    If I'm outside on your doorstep and I call out "It's me", that isn't an accidental slip on my part. It's the normal Standard English way to confirm my identity to someone who knows me but can't see me.

    But in the case of interrogatives with "who" things are the other way round: it's the nominative form that is less formal, so we typically have "Who is he taking to" rather than the formal "whom is he talking to?" And, of course, when the pronoun is predicative complement of "be" the pronoun is always nominative, so we have "Who was she?", not "Whom was she".
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    You'll always say "Who am I?", not "Whom am I?"
    Now because we have added another question, "do you say?", to the sentence, the interrogative structure of "Who am I?" is changed to the declarative structure "Who I am." Who do you say I am?

    Does that help?
     
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