The word who functions as a subject while whom is an object within a sentence. “Who among us” is used to refer to the subject of the sentence and “whom among us” is used to refer to the object of the sentence.
Continue reading on to learn the rules surrounding the use of who and whom, when and how to use them correctly, and examples of using both words in a sentence.
Definition of who and whom
The Oxford English Dictionary defines who as what or which person or people. Whom on the other hand is used in place of ‘who’ when it is the object of a verb or preposition. The words who and whom have both been around since the 13th century. Both words are from Old English and are derivatives of hwam.
Who Among Us or Whom Among Us?
The simplest rule to remember when learning how to use who or whom is that you should use who when the word is performing and action. You should use the word whom when the word is receiving the action. Trying to determine the correct word may seem confusing, in practice, it is fairly simple.
Because the ‘who’ in ‘who among us’ is performing an action, in this case asking who/whom, the appropriate word to use in this phrase is ‘who’. However, if the sentence were to be changed slightly, you would use ‘whom’. For example
- Who among us is ready for the Superbowl?
- She visited 10 people among whom were a baker and a florist.
We use “Who among us” when the people performed the action.
- Who among us has ever stolen a pen from the office?
We use “Whom among us” when the people received the action.
- Whom among us has been talked down to?
When and How to Use Who
Determining when and how to use either who or whom is the most difficult part of using these words. However, by remembering that who is a subject you can learn when to use these words in the correct context. Some examples of using who in a sentence are
- Steven is a long-distance runner who enjoys sprint races sometimes.
- I am worried about the old woman who lives on elm street.
- Who among us is capable of correcting the issue?
When and How to Use Whom
Using whom is as easy as determining whether the word should receive an action or not. Another tip to remember is if the sentence is a question and can be answered with him, her, or them, you will use the word whom. Take a look at a few examples of how to use whom within a sentence.
- Many people dislike the new President whom we have elected.
- Whom did he tell?
- He saw all the people whom he loves the most at his birthday party.