'Whom' vs. 'Who' at the Beginning of a Sentence

"Whom was called into the office?"

Technically, that "whom" is correct because it's the object of the verb "called." Yet almost no one would say it that way. Does that mean everyone's wrong? No. It means that, when the pronoun's at the beginning of a sentence, even the most formal writing can use "who" as an object. Here's the full explanation.

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2 Responses to “'Whom' vs. 'Who' at the Beginning of a Sentence”

  1. WRONG!
    If "Whom was called into the office" is a question then it's the equivalent of asking "Him was called into the office?" which is obviously wrong. If it's a statement it's still wrong. Look, it's not difficult: Me, him, her, them and whom are objects. I, he, she, they and who are subjects. If the person in the sample sentence is the object (as indicated by "whom") then the office must be the subject but there's no verb for the subject, so the person must be the subject and is therefore who. Understand?

  2. A.S.: Everything you said is right, but I'm not sure which comment you're directing it at. Are you getting confused by passive voice as it comes into play in these sentences? "I called him" uses the object pronoun "him" because, as you said, is an object. When you invert that sentence to say "He was called," it's not the same sentence structure. In passive voice, the object of the action (so to speak) is made the grammatical subject of the sentence. So "He was called" does, as you said, required the subject pronoun "he." I don't believe anyone said anything to the contrary.