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I'm unsure whether both these sentences are grammatical, and if they are, whether one should be preferred:

A problem emerged that needs fixing.

Do you happen to know who I should talk to?

Do you happen to know to whom I should talk?

Do you happen to know to whom should I talk?

to fix the problem.

Related: “I know who(m) you spoke to” or “I know to whom you spoke”?

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The first is the normal, everyday sentence that almost all native English speakers would use.

The second is a stilted form which some people use in formal situations. I suspect that many people do not use it at all, and there may be a few people who use it in their normal speech.

The third is not grammatical, because embedded questions do not invert their subject and verb/auxiliary. People sometimes do use such inversion in casual speech (usually because they have changed their mind about the structure of the sentence while speaking it), but I'd be surprised if many people would do so and use "to whom" in the same sentence.

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  • Thank you! If you don't mind one more question, why shouldn't it be "...know whom I should talk to?" I thought that since it follows "to", it would have the added "m"
    – flen
    Oct 24, 2023 at 21:45
  • Whom I should talk to is possible, but even less likely than to whom I should talk, for two reasons: 1) in situations where people use whom, they are less likely to use the (relatively informal) stranded "to"; 2) for many people it is the preceding to which triggers the whom. That is, hardly anybody would say to who did you talk, but some of the people who would say to whom did you talk would happily say who did you see rather than whom did you see.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 24, 2023 at 21:49

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