2
   

When do you use Who and when fo you use Whom?

 
 
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 04:58 pm
I took a pretest today and got everything write in every part except the Grammar and usage section. I have trouble telling the difference between who and whom, elicit and illicit and except and accept. Can anyone explain it without being confusing? I'm in AP English III and my teacher won't explain it to me unless I come to class after school or for lunch for a quick tutoring (I don't wanna) because, apparently, I'm already suppose to know this.
 
33export
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 05:25 pm
@GracieGirl,
Check out case for pronouns on Wikipedia. Yuor answer should be in there somewhere.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 05:48 pm
@GracieGirl,
If the answer would be "he" or "she" use "who".

Who went to the store?

He went to the store.

If the answer would be "him" or "her" use "whom".

To whom does this belong?

It belongs to him.
JTT
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 06:18 pm
@GracieGirl,
Quote:
I have trouble telling the difference between who and whom,
... I'm in AP English III and my teacher won't explain it to me unless I come to class after school or for lunch for a quick tutoring


One of the first things you have to understand about language, Gracie, is that it is likely that you do know the difference between who and whom but you just can't describe the difference. Grammar is difficult stuff and there aren't many who can explain it well and that probably includes your teacher.

Think of it this way. You, Gracie, know how to walk just fine but can you explain to me the mechanics of walking, ie. how your brain signals your body to walk. Of course you can't but that doesn't stop you from walking up a storm.

So it is with language. I assume that you are a native born English speaker. By the time you were five years old you knew virtually every grammatical structure that exists in the English language. You are as much a grammatical genius as you are a walking genius.

who and whom are just slightly confusing for two reasons:

One, teachers inaccurately describe how the two are used in modern day English

Two, 'whom' is a relic of a defunct case system that was found in older forms of English. You could go your whole life without using it because modern English has a fully functional substitute, and that is 'who'.

You can use 'who' for any situation in English where 'whom' is an option, Gracie. [except for one - fronting the preposition, see below]

Your teacher should have told you that, instead of trying to pass off this worn out old canard as accurate information.

'whom' is part of a old case system [case = words that have different spellings for different grammatical uses, eg. I - me - mine - my] that no longer exists. It is moribund, meaning it's on the way to its death, ie. that old case system will not come back into use in English

Insisting on 'whom' is as stupid as insisting that people use thou or thee. The only place where 'whom' is standard is when we front a preposition ['to', underlined below]

I don't know who she gave it to.

I don't know to whom she gave it.

X I don't know to who she gave it. X

Considering that you are being taught this nonsense about 'who/whom', it's reasonable to expect that your teacher will teach you a lot of other nonsensical things about English grammar.

As to how to use 'whom' if you so choose it as an option.

In older forms of English, 'who/whoever' used to be used to talk about the subject case and 'whom/whoever' was used to talk about the object case. As I mentioned, in modern English, 'who' serves as both subject and object functions just as 'you' serves as both a subject and an object. 'whom' is there as an option and each individual speaker/writer decides whether or not to exercise that option.

I [subject] gave the book [object] to Gracie. [object]

Whom did you give the book to?

'whom' can be used because 'Gracie' is in object position.

Gracie [subject] was given the book.

X Whom was given the book? X

'whom' can't be used because 'Gracie' is in the subject
position.

I know this probably wasn't as simple as you wanted, Gracie, so please feel free to ask any followup questions that you would like.

===========================

elicit and illicit - just keep in mind 'illicit' drugs and you'll remember. Gracie elicited responses from A2Kers on a lot of issues.


except and accept - You learn new words best by using them so why don't you try these two. To set a new word in your mental dictionary, just use it in a real context about something in your life. That's the way to make words make sense.

GracieGirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 06:55 pm
@JTT,
Wow! Thanks JTT!! Thanks a ton!!! Are you a teacher!

I get the whom/who thing. And yeah, if nobody ever uses it, then why do we have to learn it.

You gave the book to whom? I gave the book to JTT.

Who took the book? JTT took the book.

Right?

I got excepted to college
I accepted her apology

Illicit means illegal right?
And elicit means received?
GracieGirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 06:56 pm
@boomerang,
Thanks boomerang! That's a awesome way to remember! Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:05 pm
@GracieGirl,
GracieGirl wrote:
I took a pretest today and got everything write in every part except the Grammar and usage section. I have trouble telling the difference between who and whom, elicit and illicit and except and accept.
Everything write? How was the spelling?

GracieGirl wrote:
Can anyone explain it without being confusing? I'm in AP English III and my teacher won't explain it to me unless I come to class after school or for lunch for a quick tutoring (I don't wanna) because, apparently, I'm already suppose to know this.

Your teacher has given you two options of how to learn the information, go for it. The minimal effort expended will indicate to the teacher that you are a serious student, not just someone thrown in by accident (which happened to me in the Junior year). If they sense you are serious it will help in a few years when it comes time for those pesky college recommendation letters.

Speaking from my years of tormenting...I mean educating people, I always appreciated the student who took the effort to put in some extra time when they ran into a stumbling block. If you'd rather not have the teacher help directly, then consider a fellow student as a tutor-helpmate (that is if this exists in your school). Remember too, the teacher is giving their valuable time by meeting with you to review your areas of weakness and assist as necessary.

Speaking from my time as a student, I used two methods of receiving help when I had struggles in math. One version involved a fellow student taking their time and helping me with the subject matter. The other involved taking an extra period of the same math class each day. She taught it at 8 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Incidentally, "I don't wanna" won't be of much use when you see your grade and it's lower than it could be if you applied a few minutes of time and effort.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:26 pm
@GracieGirl,
Not a North American teacher but a teacher for ESL/EFL.

-----------------------------

Quote:
I get the whom/who thing. And yeah, if nobody ever uses it, then why do we have to learn it.


Number one, because teachers are required to teach a lot of falsehoods, canards, lies, especially about language.

I didn't say that no one ever uses it. You've not had much experience with 'whom' because it's nowhere near as common in speech, especially casual/everyday speech, as it is in formal speech and formal writing. Though it's moribund, it still is in common use in formal English. You'll encounter it much more as you move thru late teens to adulthood.


Quote:
You gave the book to whom? I gave the book to JTT.

Who took the book? JTT took the book.

Right?


Right, you're getting there, Gracie. Whenever you see it in writing, try to follow the idea that Boomer and I mentioned.

Quote:
I got [excepted] accepted to college
'except' is like 'left out' - Everyone came except Gracie. I don't think it's used too much as a verb like you used it, above.

I accepted her apology OK


Quote:
Illicit means illegal right?

It's a flavor/nuance of 'illegal' but all things 'illicit' aren't necessarily 'illegal'. 'illicit' can also describe things that don't meet everyone's approval.


Quote:
And elicit means received?


You're part way there but I think from the other examples you gave in other postings, you've pretty much got it nailed. A new piece of vocabulary isn't always learned from one experience/one usage so don't get frustrated when a teacher/someone just gives you a definition from a dictionary. That's not how we learn the vast majority of the words we come to know.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:30 pm
@Sturgis,
Quote:
Incidentally, "I don't wanna" won't be of much use when you see your grade and it's lower than it could be if you applied a few minutes of time and effort.


It's fine for here at A2K and it's as natural as breathing for speech, Sturgis. It's important to give kids the right ideas about language, to let them know where certain collocations are appropriate and where they are not. To leave Gracie thinking that "I don't wanna" is somehow bad/incorrect English does her [and millions of others] no favor.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:35 pm
@JTT,
JTT,

I wasn't referring to the usage of "wanna" I was addressing the matter of applying herself.
JTT
 
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Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:36 pm
@Sturgis,
I see. My apologies. Embarrassed

Consider my comments retracted.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:40 pm
@JTT,
Not a problem.
GracieGirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:54 pm
@JTT,
Thank you soo much JTT! You're the awesomest! I think I get it now! Very Happy

You're an aweome teacher!
GracieGirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:57 pm
@Sturgis,
Thanks Sturgis! I 'apply' myself, its just that I didn't WANT TO (LoL) stay after school or go to class for lunch when she could have explained it to me in class when I asked. I'm sure it wouldn't have taken long. JTT was able to explain it and we're tons of miles away! Smile
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 08:16 pm
@GracieGirl,
Obviously, you are the awesome one, Gracie, 'cause lots of people don't get it even after a great deal of study. But that's okay too because it illustrates a very important point about language.

Knowing the hows and the whys of language doesn't make you a better speaker or writer. Studying grammar is useful if that's what you want to study, just as biology or math or chemistry is useful for those who want to make a career involving those fields.

Feel free to ask any other questions you have about grammar and English as you go on in your English course.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 08:20 pm
@GracieGirl,
There's a chance that your teacher didn't know either, Gracie, or he/she was unsure about it. Putting you off would allow him/her to bone up on who/whom.

There were times when my ESL/EFL students asked me language questions that I couldn't provide an answer for right away and I had studied, lived and breathed grammar for many years.

So don't be too tough on your teacher for as I said, understanding and explaining grammar is tough because language is an extremely intricate subject.

GracieGirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 08:35 pm
@JTT,
Thanks JTT, you're really nice! Mr. Green

Aha! I KNEW you were a teacher! I wish you were mine. But atleast we can kinda online-tutor like we did earlier with the Who/Whom questions. Laughing Very Happy

And, you're probably right about my teacher. I thought teachers knew everything about what they teach because they had to learn it in school too, and they teach it over, and over, and over again. I didn't know that teachers had to look up stuff.

Yea, I was a little tough on her. I get it now though, even teachers aren't geniuses. HaHa! Very Happy
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 08:47 pm
@GracieGirl,
Quote:
I thought teachers knew everything about what they teach because they had to learn it in school too, and they teach it over, and over, and over again. I didn't know that teachers had to look up stuff.


Well, you've learned something very valuable then, Gracie. I can't imagine why a teacher would put themselves under that kind of pressure over an entire career trying to buffalo their students.

My first year or so of teaching, I did that, thinking like you did, like most do, that teachers have to always know when that simply isn't the case. As soon as I realized how difficult language was and how much there was to learn, I had no problem telling students, "I don't know, but I'll find out and get back to you."

When it comes to language, it's always difficult to learn rules that aren't really rules and as I said, given what is taught about language, you are going to hear some pretty silly rules from your teacher.
GracieGirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 08:53 pm
@JTT,
Yea! And whenever I dont understand, I know who to call or type/text! HaHa! Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 11:31 pm
@GracieGirl,
I'm nitpicking, Gracie. See the red below.

GracieGirl wrote:

I took a pretest today and got everything write RIGHT in every part except the Grammar and usage section. I have trouble telling the difference between who and whom, elicit and illicit and except and accept. Can anyone explain it without being confusing? I'm in AP English III and my teacher won't explain it to me unless I come to class after school or for lunch for a quick tutoring (I don't wanna) because, apparently, I'm already supposeD to know this.
0 Replies
 
 

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