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To whom vs. to who?



 
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To whom vs. to who? #1 (permalink) Fri Mar 31, 2006 18:22 pm   To whom vs. to who?
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #79 "Pronouns: who, whose, whom, which", question 10

That young man to ......... we owe some thanks, saved our mom's life on that car accident.

(a) which
(b) whom
(c) who
(d) whose

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #79 "Pronouns: who, whose, whom, which", answer 10

That young man to whom we owe some thanks, saved our mom's life on that car accident.

Correct answer: (b) whom

Your answer was: correct
_________________________

Hey...I just wanna know, when do I have to use to whom?? can I say? "I sold my car"(someone says) and I ask "to whom?" is that right???

Sergio
sergio
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To whom vs. to who? #2 (permalink) Sat Apr 01, 2006 19:00 pm   To whom vs. to who?
 

Yes, Sergio. That would be right.
When you sell your car you sell it "to" someone.
Let's suppose your sentence was:
I sold my car to Daniela.
There are two other ways of saying that sentence.
I sold "her" my car.
I sold my car to "her".
Not she.
It is a generic rule that if you can replace the object of the sentence by possessive pronouns ,such as her, him or them, then you are suppose to use "whom".
If the word "sell" was referring to the subject of the sentence (in that case "I") then you were supposed to use "who".

Structure of a sentence:
I sold my car to Daniela.
I (subject of the sentence)
sold my car to Daniela. (predicate of the sentence)
sold (Ditransitive verb. It means it can take both direct and indirect verbs. In other words, you can ask the verb two questions. "What" did I sell? my car, "to whom" did I sell it? to Daniela.)
my car (direct objet)
to Daniela (indirect object).

Oops, I got a little carried away. I hope I am not making this too confusing.

All that to say, yes it would be correct to say "to whom", because "whom" would be referring to the object of the sentence. However, you would most likely not hear people saying it that way in common speech, because it sounds "too correct". People usually only use it when they are trying to be formal. Like, when they write an essay or some other types of papers.
Caroline
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Caroline Binda

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
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