Who (pronoun)

whowhomuse of "to whom" as opposed to "to whowho" vs. "whomWho'' (pronoun)who'' or ''whomwho(m)who-who/whom/whosewhose
The pronoun who, in English, is an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun, used chiefly to refer to humans.wikipedia
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Interrogative word

interrogative pronouninterrogativeinterrogative pronouns
The pronoun who, in English, is an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun, used chiefly to refer to humans. Its derived forms include whom, an objective form the use of which is now generally confined to formal English; the possessive form whose; and the indefinite form whoever (also whosoever, whom(so)ever, and whos(eso)ever; see also -ever).
An interrogative word or question word is a function word used to ask a question, such as what, when, where, who, whom, why, and how.

Pronoun

pronounspronominalpronominal system
The pronoun who, in English, is an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun, used chiefly to refer to humans.
In reference to a person, one may use who (subject), whom (object) or whose (possessive); for example, Who did that? In colloquial speech, whom is generally replaced by who.

English relative clauses

relative clausesrelative pronouns restrictive relative clauses
In restrictive relative clauses, when not preceded by a preposition, both who(m) and which can be replaced by that, or (if not the subject of the clause) by zero.
The basic relative pronouns are who, which, and that; who also has the derived forms whom and whose.

Pronunciation of English ⟨wh⟩

wine''–''whine'' mergerwine–whine mergerwine-whine merger
The spelling who does not correspond to the word's pronunciation ; it is the spelling that represents the expected outcome of hwā, while the pronunciation represents a divergent outcome – for details see Pronunciation of English ⟨wh⟩.
Some words which historically began with /h/ came to be written (whole, whore). Later in many dialects was delabialized to in the same environment, regardless of whether the historic pronunciation was /h/ or /hw/ (in some other dialects the labialized /h/ was reduced instead to, leading to such pronunciations as the traditional Kentish for home). This process affected the pronoun who and its inflected forms.

Indefinite pronoun

indefiniteindefinite pronounsanybody
Its derived forms include whom, an objective form the use of which is now generally confined to formal English; the possessive form whose; and the indefinite form whoever (also whosoever, whom(so)ever, and whos(eso)ever; see also -ever).

English language

EnglishEnglish-languageen
The pronoun who, in English, is an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun, used chiefly to refer to humans.
The personal interrogative pronoun who is the only interrogative pronoun to still show inflection for case, with the variant whom serving as the objective case form, although this form may be going out of use in many contexts.

Dative case

dativedat.DAT
The forms whom and whose derive respectively from the Old English dative and genitive forms of hwā, namely hwām and hwæs.
The modern objective case pronoun whom is derived from the dative case in Old English, specifically the Old English dative pronoun "hwām" (as opposed to the modern subjective "who", which descends from Old English "hwā") — though "whom" also absorbed the functions of the Old English accusative pronoun "hwone".

Old English

Anglo-SaxonSaxonAnglo Saxon
The word who derives from the Old English hwā.
Remnants of the Old English case system in Modern English are in the forms of a few pronouns (such as I/me/mine, she/her, who/whom/whose) and in the possessive ending -'s, which derives from the masculine and neuter genitive ending -es.

English personal pronouns

personal pronounsEnglishpronoun
In the types of English in which whom is used (which are generally the more formal varieties, as described in the section above), the general grammatical rule is that who is the subjective (nominative) form, analogous to the personal pronouns I, he, she, we, they, etc., while whom is the objective (oblique) form, analogous to me, him, her, us, them, etc. Thus who is used as a verb subject, while whom is used as an indirect or direct object of a verb or as the object (complement) of a preposition.
Other English pronouns which have distinct forms of the above types are the indefinite pronoun one, which has the reflexive oneself (the possessive form is written one's, like a regular English possessive); and the interrogative and relative pronoun who, which has the objective form whom (now confined mostly to formal English) and the possessive whose (which in its relative use can also serve as the possessive for which).

Relative pronoun

relativerelative pronounsrel.
The pronoun who, in English, is an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun, used chiefly to refer to humans.

Oblique case

obliqueobjectiveobjective case
Its derived forms include whom, an objective form the use of which is now generally confined to formal English; the possessive form whose; and the indefinite form whoever (also whosoever, whom(so)ever, and whos(eso)ever; see also -ever). In the types of English in which whom is used (which are generally the more formal varieties, as described in the section above), the general grammatical rule is that who is the subjective (nominative) form, analogous to the personal pronouns I, he, she, we, they, etc., while whom is the objective (oblique) form, analogous to me, him, her, us, them, etc. Thus who is used as a verb subject, while whom is used as an indirect or direct object of a verb or as the object (complement) of a preposition. According to traditional prescriptive grammar, who is the subjective (nominative) form only, while whom is the corresponding objective form (just as him is the objective form corresponding to he). However it has long been common, particularly in informal English, for the uninflected form who to be used in both cases, thus replacing whom in the contexts where the latter was traditionally used.

Possessive

possessive pronounpossessive casepossessive pronouns
Its derived forms include whom, an objective form the use of which is now generally confined to formal English; the possessive form whose; and the indefinite form whoever (also whosoever, whom(so)ever, and whos(eso)ever; see also -ever). Whose bike is that? (use of whose as possessive determiner/adjective; see possessive and English possessive)

Cognate

cognatescognationcognatic
The word is cognate with Latin quis and Greek ποιός.

Latin

Lat.Latin languagelat
The word is cognate with Latin quis and Greek ποιός.

Greek language

GreekAncient GreekModern Greek
The word is cognate with Latin quis and Greek ποιός.

Genitive case

genitivegen.GEN
The forms whom and whose derive respectively from the Old English dative and genitive forms of hwā, namely hwām and hwæs.

Content clause

indirect questiondeclarative content clausedirect question
The same forms (though not usually the emphatic ones) are used to make indirect questions:

Determiner

determinersdefinite determinerdemonstrative determiners
Another similar interrogative is which – this can refer to either humans or non-humans, normally implying selection from a particular set, as either interrogative pronoun (Which do you prefer?) or interrogative determiner (adjective) (Which man should I choose?). What can also be used as a determiner (What book are you reading?), but who cannot.

English possessive

possessivedouble genitive-
Whose bike is that? (use of whose as possessive determiner/adjective; see possessive and English possessive)

Subject (grammar)

subjectsubjectsgrammatical subject
In restrictive relative clauses, when not preceded by a preposition, both who(m) and which can be replaced by that, or (if not the subject of the clause) by zero. In the types of English in which whom is used (which are generally the more formal varieties, as described in the section above), the general grammatical rule is that who is the subjective (nominative) form, analogous to the personal pronouns I, he, she, we, they, etc., while whom is the objective (oblique) form, analogous to me, him, her, us, them, etc. Thus who is used as a verb subject, while whom is used as an indirect or direct object of a verb or as the object (complement) of a preposition.

Zero (linguistics)

zeroØ
In restrictive relative clauses, when not preceded by a preposition, both who(m) and which can be replaced by that, or (if not the subject of the clause) by zero.

Grammatical number

numbersingularnumbers
In relative clauses, who (like other relative pronouns) takes the number (singular or plural) of its antecedent.

Grammatical person

personthird personfirst person
Who also takes the person (first, second or third) of its antecedent:

Relative clause

relativerelative clausesfree relative clause
The other chief use of who and its derivatives are in the formation of relative clauses:

Linguistic prescription

prescriptiveprescriptive grammarprescriptivist
According to traditional prescriptive grammar, who is the subjective (nominative) form only, while whom is the corresponding objective form (just as him is the objective form corresponding to he). However it has long been common, particularly in informal English, for the uninflected form who to be used in both cases, thus replacing whom in the contexts where the latter was traditionally used.