Now's a good time to introduce an error you'll probably encounter just once on the SAT, but probably hundreds of times in your life: who vs. whom.
|Use whom after a preposition (to, for, of,...). Use who for all other cases. Note that this rule is not always correct, but it's easier to memorize and it will get you through all SAT questions related to this error.|
|Wrong:||Jane is the girl for who I brought these gifts.|
|Correct:||Jane is the girl for whom I brought these gifts.|
|Correct:||Jane is the girl whom I brought these gifts for.|
Note the exception to the rule in the second correct version. Sometimes, the preposition (for, in this case) is moved to someplace later in the sentence, so just watch out. Here's another example of this:
|Wrong:||The chaperones who the students were assigned to made sure they walked in a single file.|
|Correct:||The chaperones whom the students were assigned to made sure they walked in a single file.|
|Correct:||The chaperones to whom the students were assigned made sure they walked in a single file.|
In the example above, the preposition to look out for is to. Notice that the preposition can be moved back in front of the whom.
|Wrong:||The boys whom robbed the store should be thrown in jail.|
|Correct:||The boys who robbed the store should be thrown in jail.|
|Wrong:||To who should I send these flowers?|
|Correct:||To whom should I send these flowers?|
|Wrong:||The librarian yelled at the boy whom never returned his books.|
|Correct:||The librarian yelled at the boy who never returned his books.|
|Wrong:||He is the man who I love.|
|Correct:||He is the man whom I love.|
This is an example of an exception to the rule. Because the man is the object of your love, we have to use whom. These cases pretty much never come up on the SAT, so just trust in the rule above. However, knowing this exception will give you added confidence on the small chance it actually comes up.
- Brad left the practice room in disarray, with no consideration for the people (who/whom) use it.
- The formula was devised by renowned physicist Mark King, (who/whom) has been studying black holes for over 40 years.
- The girl (who/whom) Dave was matched with was unimpressed by his sense of humor.
- John's grandfather was a wheat farmer from Canada (who/whom), after immigrating to America, became a grocery store owner.
The ruling angered the party's leaders, many of them were heavily invested in the outcome.
A) NO CHANGE
B) of whom
C) of who
D) DELETE the underlined portion.
Want more questions? Our SAT Writing Advanced Guide and Workbook contains over 500 additional practice questions (grouped by topic) and 3 practice tests.