“Who” versus “whom” often creates confusion because it can be hard to fully understand when you need to use which word. However, these pronouns need to be used correctly to ensure that what you are trying to say is completely understood. It is also essential for good writing. When you are writing a paper, using the wrong form of this pronoun is a minor issue, but it is important to use it correctly because minor issues can still distract from what you are trying to say.
Quick and Simple Trick
There is an easy trick you can use to remember which version of this pronoun is correct. “Who” equals “he” and “whom” equals “him,” according to Grammar Book. As you are writing, keep this trick in the back of your mind to ensure that you are using these two words correctly. Here are some examples to show you how this trick works.
“He picked the apples.” Since “he” was used, you would use “who.” For example, “who picked the apples?”
“She was looking for him.” Since “him” was used, you would use “whom.” For example, “whom was she looking for?”
Importance of Proper Usage
When you are writing papers, it is important that the mechanics of the paper be impeccable. At the college level, you are expected to use language correctly and while most professors will not say much about a few small mistakes, these do add up. When you are using basic words improperly, this can be distracting and it can undermine your credibility. Your research, analysis, and information can be superior, but mistakes with grammar, word usage, and punctuation can make it seem like you did not put effort into this aspect of the assignment.