Relative pronouns - who and whom

A relative pronoun is a word which is used to refer to a noun (name, place or thing) which has already been mentioned in a sentence. They can also be used to connect two parts of a sentence, using relative clauses.

We're going to have a look at the relative pronouns who and whom which give information about people.

''The boy who lives next door goes to the same school as me.''

It can be tricky to know when to use who and when to use whom. One way to help you know which pronoun to use is to substitute who with the word he/she and whom with the word him/her.

For example: 

The man who lives in the yellow house is an artist. 

He lives in the yellow house.


The photographer, whom you met at the wedding, has been hired by many celebrities. 

You met him at the wedding.


If the clause uses a subject pronoun (he, she, they) then use who.

If the clause uses an object pronoun (him, her, them) then use whom.


Can you determine if the following sentences are using the correct or incorrect relative pronoun?

Here's an example:

This is the girl whom painted the giant ladybug on the wall.

Answer: It is incorrect. It should be who, not whom.