Whom vs. Whose

'Whom' and 'whose' are used a lot in English grammar. So it is important to be able to use them correctly. Click here to knock off the article.

What Are Their Main Differences?

The key difference between 'whom' and 'whose' which helps you find them easy to use, is that 'whom' is used in objective cases and 'whose' is used in possessive cases.

Possessive and Objective Pronouns

To understand how to use 'whom' and 'whose' you first need to understand the difference between objective and possessive pronouns. Objective pronouns are those that are used to define a case or action which is done to something. Possessive pronouns are used to indicate the owner of something or to say that something belongs to somebody.

Do not touch it! It is mine. → possessive pronoun

Please talk to me, I apologized for ages. → objective pronoun

Differences

Whose and Whom as Determiners

  • 'Whom' and 'whose':

'Whose' can be used as a determiner. It means that it can be followed by a noun. Unlike 'whose', 'whom' is not followed by a noun so it cannot be considered as a determiner.

I cannot bear a guy whose hands are always dirty. → determiner

Tell me whose they are. → pronoun

Whom are you talking to? → pronoun

Tip!

Sometimes we use prepositions at the beginning or at the end of a sentence which includes 'whom'. Technically the more formal way is to use the preposition at the beginning, but you can also use them at the end and it will still be a correct sentence.

With whom did you go to the gym?

Whom did you go to the gym with?

Similarities

Whom and Whose in Restrictive and Non-restrictive Clauses

  • 'Whom' and 'whose':

both are used as relative pronouns to connect a restrictive (essential) clause or non-restrictive (non-essential) clause to an independent clause to complete their meanings.

Restrictive Non-restrictive
Whose
Whom

I saw the man to whom I was engaged for three years.

Evan, whom I played with, has become the captain of the team.

They asked for the man whose hands were in cuffs.

The man, whose manner was not suitable, was still angry.

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