Mastering "Who", "Whose", and "Whom" in English Grammar

In English, the interrogative pronouns "who", "whose", and "whom" are fundamental in asking questions about people. Their proper use is crucial for clarity and grammatical accuracy. This article explores these pronouns in detail.

1. What are "Who", "Whose", and "Whom"?

  • Who: Used to ask about the identity of a person or people, typically as the subject of a sentence.

    Example: Who called you last night?

  • Whose: Used to inquire about ownership or a relationship to a person.

    Example: Whose book is this?

  • Whom: Used to ask about the object of a verb or preposition.

    Example: To whom did you give the keys?

2. How to Use "Who", "Whose", and "Whom" in Sentences:

  • Who: Often acts as the subject of a sentence. Example: Who is going to lead the meeting?

  • Whose: Poses questions about possession. Example: Whose jacket is hanging in the hallway?

  • Whom: Typically used as the object of a verb or preposition. Example: Whom did you ask for help?

3. Avoiding Errors When Using "Who", "Whose", "Whom":

  • Remember, "who" is for subjects, "whom" for objects. If you can replace it with “he” or “she”, use "who". If “him” or “her” fits, use "whom".
  • Use "whose" only when referring to possession.
  • Modern English tends to use "who" in place of "whom" in informal contexts.

4. The Difference Among "Who", "Whose", and "Whom":

  • Who vs. Whom:

    • Who is used as a subject: Who made this cake?
    • Whom is used as an object: Whom did you see?
  • Whose vs. Who/Whom:

    • Whose is for possession: Whose phone is ringing?
    • Who/Whom refer to people: Who/Whom do you recommend?

5. Cases When Not to Use "Who", "Whose", "Whom":

  • Avoid using "whom" as a subject:

    Incorrect: Whom is at the door? Correct: Who is at the door?

  • Don't use "who" or "whom" for non-human subjects:

    Incorrect: Who (referring to a dog) won the dog show? Correct: Which dog won the dog show?

  • Don't use "whose" when not indicating possession:

    Incorrect: Whose did you call? (asking about the action) Correct: Who did you call?


6. Practice Who/Whose/Whom Exercises

What are the differences among "Who/Whose/Whom" in English? This test was designed for you to practice "Who/Whose/Whom". The test has 20 questions. Before taking the test, please read the following tips about "Who/Whose/Whom".


- Who: used to talk about person involved.

Ex: The girl who is next to the door is my sister.


- Whose: used to ask a person or people things belong to:

Ex: Whose book is this?


- Whom: is the object of "Who"

Ex: That's the young man to whom I spoke.

 In conclusion, "who", "whose", and "whom" are key interrogative pronouns in English, each serving a unique purpose in querying about people. Their correct use adds precision and sophistication to speech and writing. Understanding the nuances of these pronouns is essential for effective communication in English.

Now You'll take a "Who/Whose/Whom" test.