'who' or 'whom' in somewhat complex sentence

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redfuse

New Member
Dutch
Hi all,

Normally I can easily determine whether to use who (subject) or whom (object), but I'm struggling with a certain sentence. Compare:


  • The feeling when someone, who you want to like you, has done something that makes you think he doesn't like you at all.
  • The feeling when someone, whom you want to like you, has done something that makes you think he doesn't like you at all.

Any idea which is correct? What is the subject and object in the sub-sentence?

Thanks!
 
  • KHS

    Senior Member
    In very formal grammar, I would use "whom."
    You want him to like you.

    In every day usage (whether in writing or speaking), I would use "who" even though it's the "object" position.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, Redfuse. :)

    Yes, the correct pronoun in this complex sentence would be "whom". You can sometimes figure these things out by pulling out the puzzling phrase and rearranging it. In this case, for example, you wouldn't say "I want he [subject word] to like me"; you'd say "I want him [object word] to like me". That tells you that you need the object pronoun whom.
     
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