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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Need help    

Need help

Saudi Arabia

Need help
While combining  a sentence which one is correct? who or whom
She is a friend ( who / whom) I can rely on 
thanks in advance for your help 

25 Apr 2019      

United States

"She is a friend on whom I can rely" makes it clearer. Whom comes after prepositions, and in this transformation of the word order in your sentence we can see that it must be whom.
If one hadn�t thought of transforming the word order, one could google� "she is a friend whom I can rely on" and then google "She is a friend who I can rely on".� The sentence with whom has 82 million results. The sentence with who has 1 result.

Edit: I agree with Lynne�s, Bruce�s, and Douglas� responses below, of course.

25 Apr 2019     

United Kingdom

She is a friend upon whom I can rely! I think if you were going to be so formal as to use �whom�, you might as well go the whole hog and have �upon� and rearrange the sentence, as well. 
Seriously, Mary is right (of course). To be grammatically correct, you need  �whom� not �who�. However, �whom�, I am sorry to say, is going the way of �lest� and using it in conversation marks you out as a pretentious know-it-all grammar show-off, so I use it whenever I get the chance,  with a supercilious grin plastered across my face. You don�t want to be like that! 
The natural utterance is: �She is a friend I can rely on.� And I think that would be fine in writing, as well. I�m afraid both of the options given sound a bit strange. 

25 Apr 2019     


🤣🤣🤣So funny you are Lynne!

25 Apr 2019     

United States

I agree with Lynne. Mary is right about the grammar, but "whom" has nearly disappeared from our language, except in English class.

25 Apr 2019     

United States

...and more colloquial: "She�s a friend that I can rely on."
Note: I tell my students that, if they want to sound like a native speaker, they should only use "whom" as a salutation in a formal business letter ("To whom it may concern") and no where else. The word is dead and that salutation is its tombstone. :)

26 Apr 2019     

United Kingdom

Two quotes, nearly half a century apart, which perfectly sum up the use of whom:


�One moment, please. Whom did you wish to see?�
Degarmo spun on his heel and looked at me wonderingly. �Did he say �whom�?�
�Yeah, but don�t hit him,� I said. �There is such a word.�
Degarmo licked his lips. �I knew there was,� he said. �I often wondered where they kept it.�
(Raymond Chandler, �The Lady in the Lake, 1943)


�As far as I�m concerned, �whom� is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.�

(Calvin Trillin, quoted by Steven Pinker in �The Sense of Style�)


26 Apr 2019     


@Douglas ,
I love your note, and will - for sure - use it !

26 Apr 2019