Which, out of the two statement below, is grammatically correct? Iago manipulates Othello throughout the play, as opposed to being the worthy friend whom Othello believes he is. Iago manipulates...

Which, out of the two statement below, is grammatically correct?

Iago manipulates Othello throughout the play, as opposed to being the worthy friend whom Othello believes he is.

Iago manipulates Othello throughout the play, as opposed to being the worthy friend who Othello believes he is.

This question may seem strange, but i never seem to understand the concept of 'who' and 'whom'. Thanks.

Asked on by conrad786

1 Answer | Add Yours

justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

When is it grammatically correct to use who and when whom should be used instead often intrigues all of us. In informal speech the word of choice is usually who, and people only tend to consider the rules of grammar that govern the usage of these words in formal speech or edited prose.

There are several relatively simple rules that can be used to determine which of the two should be used. I have provided one of them.

Who is a subjective pronoun and whom is in the objective case. Determine the correct word to use by substituting with he/she or him/her. If you can apply the former use who, else use whom.

For example: Mike was the person who scored the winning point. ("He scored the winning point." not "Him scored the winning point.")

On the other hand: It was Joe whom  I saw in the park yesterday. ("I saw him in the park." not "I saw he in the park.")

Now let's look at the sentences you have provided:

Iago manipulates Othello throughout the play, as opposed to being the worthy friend whom Othello believes he is.

Iago manipulates Othello throughout the play, as opposed to being the worthy friend who Othello believes he is.

Using the rule provided earlier it would be right to say "Othello believes in him," not "Othello believes in he." So the correct form is whom.

We’ve answered 318,983 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question