1. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Who/Whom, Is this right?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SeverinR, May 4, 2011.

    “I refuse to marry whom my father arranged for me to wed. He is cruel.”

    "I" is the subject, the fiance not named is the object, so I believe whom is correct.

    Am I correct?

    Secondary,
    Is it worded poorly?
    (The speaker is educated and minor royalty. Although she is feeling threatened when she is saying it, so she could have less then perfect grammar.)
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's correct grammar, but i'd say it could be worded better... 'whom' is an odd word to use instead of 'the man' in this context...
     
  3. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agreed. Perhaps a compromise would be "him whom"?
     
  4. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    "I refuse to marry the man whom my father arranged for me."

    Marriage is already implied, so adding "... to wed" to the end is slightly redundant.

    Natural speech tends to omit words and make sentences shorter and simpler than in writing. Even the simpler version above sounds formal, almost posh, but I presume that's what you're aiming for.
     
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  5. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Well, at least I think I have a good grasp of "who/whom".



    This one sounds a little more royal, but still doesn't feel right.

    This one seems to be the best.
    ...Marry the man whom my father...

    true, this sentence just didn't flow right. I am trying to make it sound aristocratic but still normal conversation.
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Islander.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    would have to be 'he whom' to be grammatically correct... and even then, it's awkward and more wordy than it need be...

    not really... to drop that would leave the sentence making no sense... better overall could be:

    however, another problem is the second sentence, since we can't tell who she's saying is 'cruel'--the father, or the chosen husband... so, to solve that dilemma:

     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why would it be "he" when it's the object of the sentence? "I refuse to marry the man" would become "I refuse to marry him". And it's "whom" because that bit is the direct object of "my father arranged".
    Yes, but I thought that was the point -- it's dialog, and the character is awkward and wordy.
     
  9. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I always use the him her he she test. If you replace the who or whom with a him or he then if the he/she wins you should use who and if the him/her wins the you should use whom.

    Example:

    rewrite:

    "To who did Mike speak to today?" rewrite to:
    "Did Mike speak to him today?"
    "Did Mike speak to he today?"
    "Him" wins so you should have used "whom".

    Another trick is Whom usually has the following in front of it:
    to, at, by, for, in and with

    Not sure if that helps.

    Oh, yes. In your example...

    “I refuse to marry whom my father arranged for me to wed. He is cruel.” Rewritten to:
    "My father arranged for me to marry him on Wednesday but I refuse. He is cruel.”

    The him wins so you should use whom.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    dig... ok, scratch that!... guess i hadn't had my morning's green tea yet and 'him whom' just sounded too awful to be right...
     
  11. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll give you that one! :D

    I'm inclined to think that if it's so hard to analyse the chance of somebody getting it right on-the-fly when speaking is slim.
     

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