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Which of the following is preferred, and why?:

  1. I know many who are like you.
  2. I know many whom are like you.

The pivotal word appears to function as an object and a subject, depending on the clause to which it is considered in relation.

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  • The pronoun is part of the relative clause, where it is functioning as subject, so "who" is correct
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 16:58
  • 1
    Incidentally, what makes you think that "who(m) is functioing as an object? An object of what?
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 17:19
  • @BillJ: I suppose the object of the sentence is "many who are like you", which might mean that the clause ought to be expressed with "whom" instead of "who", depending on how the grammar would be specified.
    – brainchild
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 17:51
  • Yes, the verb "know" has the NP "many [who(m) are like you]" as its object. Within the NP "who(m) are like you" is a relative clause modifying "many", and the pronoun is subject of that relative clause, not object of "know", so it can only be subjective "who".
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 19:18
  • Do we similarly prefer "We pay respect to them who perished", for the same reasons?
    – brainchild
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 19:22

2 Answers 2

1

Correct: 1. I know many who are like you. Who works here as the subject of the relative clause.

subject- 𝘄𝗵𝗼, object- 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐦,

subject- He, object- him,

I know the man. He came here last Sunday. I know the man who came here last Sunday. 'Who' joins two clauses together. 'Who' is the subject of the second clause. We use 'who' in the same way as 'he'.

This is Mr. Farukh. You met him last Sunday. This is Mr. Farukh whom you met last Sunday. 'Whom' joins two clauses together. 'Whom' is the object of the second clause. We use 'whom' in the same way as 'him'.

'Whom' is the object form of 'who'. We usually use who, not whom, as an object. In a very formal style 'whom' is used.

Who did you see? (= Whom did you see?- very formal) 'Whom/who' is the object and 'you' is the subject.

0

Whom is an object pronoun and who is not, so if a preposition precedes X, and X can either be who or whom, then it should be whom.

I know many who are like you.

Don't ask for whom the bell tolls.

[Reference][1]

If any doubt, always use who - no one will notice or care if you use who, but using whom incorrectly or unexpectedly can raise eyebrows.

[1]: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/grammar/relative_pronouns/index.html#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20relative%20pronouns,can%20function%20as%20relative%20pronouns.)

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