Is it grammatically acceptable to use "who" instead of "whom"?

Who does this coat belong to?

or even

Who does he love?

I am especially interested in the second case since I know that it's gramatically incorrect but I often chanced upon such examples.


Whom is proper in this case, but you will find that in the US, "whom" is rarely used, and that who will be accepted as normal in almost all situations by the majority of the population.


Yes, it's grammatically acceptable.

Who does this coat belong to? is OK

But, you need whom when it's preceded by a preposition

To whom does this coat belong?

The latter example,

Who does he love?

is OK, you can use whom instead.


Oxford Guide to English Grammar, 26.3 Who and whom

  • @JavaLatte I mean if the preposition precedes the pronoun. Grammar rules in my book are rather formal and old-fashion and it doesn't accept to who, maybe present-day English allows that, though.
    – user178049
    Feb 25 '17 at 13:35
  • @JavaLatte I disagree that you said "who... to" is incorrect. Collins Cobuild and Oxford Guide to English Grammar confirm it's grammatically correct. But Oxford Guide doesn't accept to who, at all.
    – user178049
    Feb 25 '17 at 13:44
  • @JavaLatte As you wish.
    – user178049
    Feb 25 '17 at 14:20

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