Who or Whom?

who or whom

These words are often mistakenly (erróneamente) used even by well educated English speakers.

Who did you speak to? (¿A quién habló?)

Sounds familiar (¿Te suena?). Yes, you have heard it many times – unfortunately (desgraciadamente). That sentence is grammatically wrong.

Who” is a subject pronoun, as in these examples:

  1. Who wrote the letter?
  2. Who is it? (¿quién es?)

However, in the above example “who did you speak to”, the person “who” is the object of the action, and “who” is a subject pronoun and therefore wrongly used here.

The correct form should be: “to whom did you speak?” (¿a quién hablaste¿) or “whom did you speak to?” “Whom” is an object pronoun.

Here are some more examples to help you to understand the point:

Whom do you love?¿A quién amas?
Whom do you know in Tenerife?¿A quién conoces en Tenerife?
For whom are you looking?¿A quién estas buscando?

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