Hello Dear StackExchange Users;

I know here is a whole of bunch similar questions about the use of "for whom" or clauses. But I had checked them before asking and could not find anything similar to mine. So without further ado, I would like to ask my question. I came across this text in The Guardian:

Our heroes in tonight’s opener are child-abuse campaigner Sarah Champion and Robert Rogers, the clerk of the house, for whom a leaky roof represents a looming need for modernisation across the board.

Normally, at least as far as I know, If the verb after relative words requires a preposition then a preposition is put before the relative word. But in this example, the verb which is "represent" does not require "for". So why "whom" is used in this way and what is the general meaning of the text? Please help me understand it.

For those of you who want to see the whole text here is the link:


3 Answers 3


For whom in this context means in whose opinion.

Robert Rogers considers that a leaky roof represents...

  • Oo okay I understand it. I didn't think from that point of view. Thank you for your response.
    – grammarian
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 14:41

I'm not sure why you think "represent" has anything to do with "for" here. "for whom" refers to Sarah and Robert, who are the people who believe that [a leaky roof represents a looming need...].

  • You are right. Actually, I was thinking that because"represent" doesn't require "for" there is no need to "for". But in this context "for whom" means "according to them". Thanks for your contribution.
    – grammarian
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 14:48

Let's look at a couple of other ways to construct this:

We have X and Y. A leaky roof represents Z to them.

We have X and Y, and, to them, a leaky roof represents Z.

We have X and Y, for whom a leaky roof represents Z.

It's a compound sentence, and 'for whom' links the two people introduced in the first part with the leaky roof and its representation in the second. Many would think the text easier to read, better 'flowing', a more harmonious use of the language, than other ways of saying it.

  • That's right. Now I am able to understand it. I actually didn't think from that point of view. Thanks a lot.
    – grammarian
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 14:44

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