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I'm an English learner.

I wanted to know which one is correct.

I like the girl who lives next door.

I like the girl whom lives next door.

For me I know I can separate the sentence into two sentences. Such as

I like the girl.(the girl is an object)

The girl lives next door.(the girl is a subject)

I think

I like the girl who lives next door

This one is the correct answer.

But someone tells me

I like the girl whom lives next door

It's also correct in old-fashioned English.

But for me,

I think the old-fashioned English is only used in the below situation.

I like the girl.(the girl is an object)

You met the girl last night.(the girl is an object.)

I like the girl whom you met last night. I like the girl who you met last night.

Both of them are correct.

When "the girl" is an object in the second sentence. It can meet the old-fashioned English rule.

But when "the girl" is a subject in the second sentence. It can't meet the old-fashioned English rule.

So I wanted to know if the sentence, I like the girl whom lives next door, is the correct sentence?

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  • This is hard to read because it includes many one-sentence paragraphs without much to distinguish them visually. Can you insert the > symbol at the beginning of each paragraph that includes text to which you are referring? (If that's not clear, you can look at other questions on this site to see how they are formatted.) Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 5:07
  • @MarcInManhattan Isn't better? I'm new here. Thank you for your reminder.
    – Cathy
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 5:24
  • Yes, it's much easier to read now, thanks! I'll try to take another look tomorrow if no one else answers it sooner. Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 5:49
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2 Answers 2

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[1] I like the girl [who lives next door].

[2] I like the girl [whom you met ___ last night].

The answer, as always, lies in the function of the relativised element, i.e. the relative pronoun.

In [1] the relativised element functions as subject of the bracketed relative clause, and hence it must be nominative case "who".

But in [2] it functions as object of the verb "met", and hence accusative case "whom" would traditionally, or more formally, be the correct form. However, there is a trend nowadays to use "who" instead of "whom" wherever possible, so "who" is the preferred choice in this instance.

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Whom would never have been correct here, even in what you call 'old-fashioned English'. Who replaces she as subject of the clause 'she lives next door'.

You are right to say that 'I like the girl whom I met last night' is correct in formal English, as here the girl is the object of the verb met.

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