We have all run into this problem of not knowing when to use “who” and when to use “whom”. Who and whom are both pronouns. How to use them depends on what you are referring to in the sentence. If you are referring to the subject of the sentence you use “who”. If you are referring to the object in a sentence or clause you would use “whom”.
It can seem confusing to think about subject and object but it really isn’t so difficult if you break it down. The subject is usually the person in the sentence that is doing something and the object is the thing that the subject is doing something to.
Sample sentence: Mary kicked the ball.
Mary is the subject and the ball is the object.
So if you were going to add who or whom to this sentence you would say “Who kicked the ball?” because “who” refers to the subject which is Mary.
If it helps you can think of the pronouns as replacing the object and subject. So in the sentence above. Mary is the subject and when you put “Who” in the place of “Mary” you are replacing the subject. We will give you a few more examples. Remember that “who” and “whom” are interrogative pronouns. They ask about the subject or object.
- Jim ate the sandwich?
Who ate the sandwich?
- Jim had a sandwich with Mary.
Whom did Jim have a sandwich with?
- Jeremy went to the store.
Who went to the store?
- Jeremy went to the store with JoAnn.
With whom did Jeremy go to the store?
Who and whom can also be used in statements. Just remember that they replace a subject and/or and object. One rule of thumb is to remember that “whom” is always to be used after a preposition. English
can be tricky in this way but if you just remember the few key points it can make the rules of grammar
usage much easier.
We often hear people or read things that say “I feel badly” or sentences that are similar. Have you ever wondered when you use the word “bad” or when you use “badly”? Well, we have and we figured it was worth addressing. In this post we will discuss the difference in these words when used in a sentence.
“Bad” is a verb
. “Badly” is an adverb. This makes all the difference in their meaning and their place in sentence structure.
If I say that “I feel badly”, it is not a very accurate statement. The verb “feel” means to touch or to “have a sensation of (something), other than by sight, hearing, smell or taste. An example of this is “feel a stabbing pain”. So basically, if I say that I “feel badly”, I am saying that I “touch badly”.
A person pointed out at one time that most people don’t say that they”feel badly” or “feel sadly”, so why would anyone “feel badly”? This makes perfect sense. “Feel” is a verb and “badly is an adverb
. Adverbs modify verbs so it just doesn’t make sense to use it in this manner.
Here are a few sentences to show examples of correct and incorrect usage:
Incorrect: I feel badly.
Correct: I feel bad.
Incorrect: I smell badly.
Correct: I smell bad.
Times when the use of “badly” does not follow the rules above are:
“You behaved badly in the movie theatre.”
“The move went badly.”
The misconception with “bad” vs. “badly” is that in most cases you are just fine using an adverb after a verb but with this particular verb and adverb you need to watch it. We must point out that different people have different views on English
grammar and usage rules.