Introducing a point of view to whom would have refused it if humor was not present.

Is this sentence grammatically complete?

I feel like something is missing in between the whom and would to connect them together because the would have refused it if humor was not present part seems to be missing its subject.

Am I right or wrong about this, and what is the reason behind?

  • 1
    Personally, I'm a native speaker and I haven't the faintest clue what you are talking about in that sentence. First there are several grammatical mistake: "whom" is wrong there, but I don't know what you are trying to say.
    – Nick
    Nov 19, 2017 at 4:27
  • @NicholasCastagnola You are right, I failed to provide a context in my question. The sentence is a part of the thesis statement of an essay on humor in which the author argues that humor is a persuasive tool that can change opinions of people on various subjects without a proper argument or debate by deflecting counter-arguments using ridicule and sarcasm. Nov 19, 2017 at 5:29
  • 1
    Then my answer that I originally gave you is correct. Add "somoene", change "whom" to "who" and change "was" to "were". It might be more correct to say "had been" instead of "were" after re-reading it, so I am going to change it. Now that I know what you are saying, it makes more sense with "had been".
    – Nick
    Nov 19, 2017 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


I am going to try to correct this sentence, but, since I don't know what you are trying to say, I am going to do my best with it:

Introducing a point of view to someone who would have refused it if humor had not been present.

That's the best that I can do until I know what you are trying to say. "Whom" replaces the object of the relative clause, but you are replacing the subject of the relative clause above, so it should be "who". In the "if" part of the clause called the "protasis", the past subjunctive should be used; therefore, it should be "were" and not "was" there. I have since changed the example to "had not been", however, after you had explained the statement and its context. "Had been" is the past perfect subjunctive and it is a better choice, I think, for your thesis statement based upon the context you have laid out. Perhaps it could be written the way seen below if you should be talking about something counterfactual in the present time, which I am still not sure is the case:

Introducing a point of view to someone who would refuse it if humor were not present.

I hope that might have helped you out.

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