When trying to decipher whether “who should I contact” or “whom should I contact” is correct, understand that both are overlapping. This means that both are appropriate to use, but technically and grammatically speaking, “whom should I contact” is correct.
“Who should I contact” has become more colloquial and common, with people preferring to say “who” over “whom.” This is because “whom” comes off as stuffy and formal. So, as a general rule, say “who should I contact” in casual speech and “whom” for more formal discussions or in writing.
“Whom Should I Contact” versus “Who Should I Contact”
To understand the difference between both phrases, it’s important to know what “whom” and “who” is in regards to parts of speech and grammar. While both are pronouns, “whom” is objective whereas “who” is subjective.
An objective pronoun serves as the object receiving the verb. A subjective pronoun replaces a noun that commits the action to an object (or objective pronoun). Therefore, “who should I contact” is technically incorrect.
This is because there are two subjective pronouns (“who” and “I”) in the same sentence that does not differentiate the object. However, over time, language has morphed to make “who should I contact” acceptable.
“Whom Should I Contact”
“Whom should I contact” is the proper, albeit traditional way, to phrase this question. There is a clear difference between the object, “whom,” and the subject, “I.” Therefore, “whom” will always indicate who will be the recipient.
Whom should I contact about the masquerade ball tomorrow night?
Please, tell me, whom should I contact to resolve this issue?
I have no idea whom should I contact to get on the waitlist.
“Who Should I Contact”
Even though “who should I contact” isn’t wrong, it’s best for casual conversations and email discussions with friends, family, and coworkers. Just understand that it contains two subjective pronouns and this is usually a no-no in English grammar.
Who should I contact about the masquerade ball tomorrow night?
Please, tell me, who should I contact to resolve this issue?
I have no idea who should I contact to get on the waitlist.
In modern and casual English usage, both “whom should I contact” and “who should I contact” are acceptable. But, the real one is “whom should I contact.” So, if you use the other one, don’t worry.
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