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A. Speaking as the president, who chose this team and for whom it works, etc.

A.1 I know "For whom it works" means his chosen team works for the president. This use of "Whom" confuses me. How can you rephrase the sentence using "who", and what other ways might be possible to convey the same meaning so I can understand the meaning in different phrasing?

B. That is not a solution available to most people for whom email has become a necessity.

B.1 Does this sentence mean that for most people email has become a necessity?

C. People will now vote for whom they are told, forced to vote by people who have a hold over them.

C.1 Does this sentence mean that people are told to vote for certain people? I didn't understand the second part "Forced to vote by people who have a hold over them"?

  1. What other wording can be used to convey the same meaning of "For whom"?
  • don't bother much. Especially in the US, 'who' replaces 'whom' these days. – Maulik V Sep 3 '15 at 5:27
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    @MaulikV But NOT usually when the pronoun is the object of a preposition! As in several of the cases here. – Araucaria Sep 6 '15 at 11:47
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    @man_from ah, but there the "who" isn't the object of a fronted preposition. The whole phrase after "with" is a fused relative construction which has no antecedent. There, the whole clause is the object of the preposition! – Araucaria Sep 6 '15 at 15:53
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    @man_from Ah, but that's not a relative pronoun, it's an interrogative one. More importantly it's not the object of a fronted preposition. In other words the preposition hasn't moved from inside the relative clause. – Araucaria Sep 6 '15 at 16:37
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    @MaulikV Try this Ngram One of who versus One of whom!! Then look at the examples for "One of who". You'll see that most of the "who"s actually refer to the World Health Organisation. The others are embedded questions. So they have the form "The question is one of who is going to succed" where "who" is part of an embedded question and not relative "who". We have to use "whom" here! – Araucaria Sep 7 '15 at 8:33
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A.1. To rephrase well using "who," you need to know a little more about the relationship between the President and the team. Possibilities might include: "Speaking as the President, who chose the team and leads the team" or "Speaking as the President, who chose the team and acts on the recommendations of the team," etc. More generally, if you want to use "who" and not "whom" you need to know what the President does with or gets from the team and not just what the team does for the President.

B.1. To me this sentence is ambiguous. It could mean that for most people e-mail has become a necessity, or it could mean that there is a subset of people for whom e-mail has become a necessity, and for most of that subset the solution is not available. For the former I would add a comma: "That is not a solution available to most people, for whom e-mail has become a necessity." For the latter I would say "That is not a solution available to most of those people for whom e-mail has become a necessity."

C.1. Yes, it means they are told how to vote. The phrase after the comma is reinforcing the point by saying that the people (the same people who are told how to vote) are forced to vote by people who have a hold over them. Arguably these are two slightly different points: they are forced to vote (versus staying home and not voting) and they are told how to vote. As you can tell from what I've just written, I think you can re-phrase to say "how to vote" instead of "for whom to vote." It is idiomatic in that it does not mean "told how to mark the box or pull the machine lever," but "told how to vote" is commonly used to mean "told which way/for whom to vote."

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