Mr. Brooks, a hard-right Republican and a once-fierce ally of Mr. Trump’s whom the former president has accused of becoming “woke,” has drawn intense scrutiny for his actions preceding the violence on Jan. 6. NYT, Abandoned by Trump, Mo Brooks Is Now Open to Testifying About Jan. 6, Jun. 23, 2022

This is an excerpt from an NYT article. I don't figure out the exact meaning of the bolded part. I think it could be simply put as "a once-fierce ally of Mr. Trump, who has accused him of becoming woke." Is there any specific reason to write like this?

  • 1
    Where is the term "one's whom"?? The NYT's sentence is fine. Yours is not grammatical.
    – Lambie
    Jun 25, 2022 at 19:25
  • What does "ex. 'of mine'"mean? Do you mean e.g., which is the abbreviation for "for example"?
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 25, 2022 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


[...] a once-fierce ally of Mr. Trump’s whom the former president has accused of becoming “woke,

"who has accused him of becoming woke" would be confusing.

When you use who to introduce a dependent clause, it refers to an antecedent, which here is Mr. Trump. So that would not work.

Sometimes people use the former and the latter: The latter has accused the former of becoming woke. But that would require completely changing everything.

[...] a good friend of my brother's whom I saw in the street.

the whom is formal, as a direct object of accused.

  • Thanks first. but still confused a bit. To me, "of Mr. Trump's" seemed a repeated possessive form. So I was curious if there is any usage of the form 'one's whom' that I am not aware of.
    – MesutOezil
    Jun 25, 2022 at 20:00
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    No, we say a friend of mine. A friend of his. But with a name we say: A friend of John's or A friend of Betty's. It's just idiomatic. I still do not understand why you are using "one's whom".
    – Lambie
    Jun 25, 2022 at 20:01
  • Oh, a friend of mine. that makes sense. It was not a that complicated problem lol. thank you.
    – MesutOezil
    Jun 25, 2022 at 20:03
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    @MesutOezil Consider the difference between a picture/portrait/image/sculpture of Leonardo and a picture/portrait/image/sculpture of Leonardo’s. The version without the possessive says nothing about the ownership or authorship of the thing, while the one that has a real possessive very much does do so. Same with a record of your mother versus a record of your mother’s, and with a picture of you versus a picture of yours.
    – tchrist
    Jun 25, 2022 at 22:18
  • @tchrist This helps a lot. I haven't thought about this difference. Many thanks!
    – MesutOezil
    Jun 26, 2022 at 20:36

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