Page 1 of 2 of http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/than-i-versus-than-me:

However, a thorn in the side of conjunctionists is the phrase than whom; both sides of the debate agree than who just sounds wrong and recommend than whom in all cases, as in the question "You were faster than whom?"

..."Since avoiding ambiguity awards a point to the conjunctionists"

Google Ngram displays the predominance of than whom until around 1980, when the trend reversed.

  1. How and why does "than who just sounds wrong"? "Since ... conjunctionvists", I prefer than who.

  2. Has than who become (cogently and validly) dignified and usable? Why or why not?

  • 3
    Most of the matching sentences in the Google Books data won't end after "than who". Be careful not to misinterpret the data.
    – user230
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 11:37
  • "You were faster than whom?" <== That sounds weird to me. I'll be giving that speaker a look-over, to see where he might be originating from, or to see if he's a prankster, or if he's a foreign spy, or if he's a space creature masquerading as a human (an advance scout for an alien invasion). -- I hope you will eventually realize that your link goes to a terrible "grammar" site, a site that is full of bad info.
    – F.E.
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


It really depends on the context. In formal speech writing, you probably still need "than whom". In informal speech and writing, "than who" isn't going to annoy anybody who isn't trying to be annoyed.

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