7
   

Who Versus Whom

 
 
mboog
 
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 06:04 am
I found an online test that claimed that the proper use of who/whom in the following sentence:

Immediately suspicious of her brother, who she supposed it was, Anne paused to hear what he was telling the stranger.

My reasoning is that 'who supposed it was' could be restructured as 'she supposed it was him', making 'whom' the appropriate word choice as the object of the sentence.

I'm also looking for recommendations for challenging online grammar tests if anyone has any good suggestions.

Thanks in advance for the help.
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 06:17 am
@mboog,
You are correct; moreover, substituting the third person singular pronoun to determine whether to use who or whom is a good strategy. I have no advice for you for "challenging online grammar tests."
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 07:32 am
@mboog,
Sorry, as a native Brit I would go for "whom" (dative ?).
My wife concurs, so it could be a cultural issue.
Prescriptive grammar is subservient to social convergence.




mboog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 08:58 am
@Setanta,
Thanks, Setanta. And to clarify, I'm looking for online grammar tests that happen to be challenging, not for advice on how to challenge an online test.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 10:25 am
@mboog,
I see . . . but i can't help you with that, either.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 10:27 am
@fresco,
This person and i both choose whom. "As a native Brit," your apparent reading comprehension skills are poor.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 11:27 am
@mboog,
Using 'who' is a perfectly reasonable choice in your example, mboog.
It is reasonable because it is fully grammatical and it is far and away
the more natural choice.

'whom' is moribund, close to death. It is impossible that it can ever regain
its position as the sole object form. To think it could is like suggesting
that 'thee', 'thou' or the many other case distinctions older forms of
English had are going to make a comeback.

contrex
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 12:53 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
'whom' is moribund, close to death.


Style note: "moribund" means "close to death", so the phrase after the comma is redundant.

JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 01:10 pm
@contrex,
Lame lame lame.

That explanation was for dolts like you, Contrex.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2013 01:12 pm
@Setanta,
Yes I see now that whom was chosen. I did not read past the second sentence containing "who"which I took to be OP answer. It is a clear case of perceptual set, Set !



0 Replies
 
Mika Anna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:52 am
@mboog,
Yes, whom is correct. I always think... Is the person doing anything? Or is someone doing something to him?
Ex: Immediately suspicious of her brother, who had a suspecting sister...
Immediately suspicious of her brother, whom she supposed it was...
Notice how, in the first one, her brother had something? Therefore, he is the subject. In the second one, someone supposed it was him. He's the object there. Hope I helped!
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 11:06 am
@Mika Anna,
Quote:
Yes, whom is correct.


No, Mika, whom is not correct. It is a choice and most certainly not the most natural one.
contrex
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 01:39 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

It is a choice and most certainly not the most natural one.


Natural for whom?
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 01:53 pm
@contrex,
Knowing what an ace English teacher you are, I trust that you know what a corpus study is.
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 02:08 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Knowing what an ace English teacher you are, I trust that you know what a corpus study is.


Corpus-based approaches to language studies have a number of limitations, and ignorant use of them can lead to people making unwarranted generalisations. While a representative corpus can show what is central and typical in a language, I would not assert that corpora are all powerful or that they confer some kind of authority. Furthermore, centrality and typicalness do not equal naturalness. I find it more natural to say/write 'whom'.

JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 02:12 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
Corpus-based approaches to language studies have a number of limitations, and ignorant use of them can lead to people making unwarranted generalisations.


You mean like the part where you say,

"I find it more natural to say/write 'whom'."
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 03:48 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

You mean like the part where you say,

"I find it more natural to say/write 'whom'."


I am not 'generalising' when I speak of myself and what I, personally, find natural, am I? I would have thought I was doing the opposite.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 05:15 pm
@contrex,
What it illustrated, again, was that you most often don't know what you are talking about when it comes to the English language.

You should have stated at the outset that you are advancing this pathetic pretence that you are some fancy pants high society bugger who only uses posh language.

A recording of your speech and writing would confirm what we already know about you; that lying is part of your makeup.
Mika Anna
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2014 09:16 am
@JTT,
Quote:
No, Mika, whom is not correct. It is a choice and most certainly not the most natural one.


(See, I can quote people now! Smile)

But I would like to just point out how wrong you are. Whom is a choice? So I could say "Whom are you?"? If it's just a choice, shouldn't that apply to a/an? I ran into a animal at an bookstore. Hmm... Whoever agrees with JTT, whom I hope is doing the same, please research this just a little! Please! For humanity! Okay, that was a bit dramatic. Wink No, most people don't use "whom" ever, but please know that there are rules, and it most certainly is NOT A CHOICE!
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2014 09:45 am
@Mika Anna,
Quote:
Whom is a choice?


Yes, it is, Mika. Not the willy-nilly one you suggest but it is a choice. Did you not state as much when you said, "No, most people don't use "whom" ever, ... "?

Do you have access to a large library? If so, you can check out the CGEL, pages 464-467 and page 7, under the title, "Taste tyranny".
 

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