?

Log in

khalulu, kanji

khalulu in hp_britglish

"whom" in conversation

How common/obligatory is the use of whom (rather than who, for an object pronoun) in conversational British English? It sounds kind of stilted in conversational American English unless we are using it after a preposition (but we usually just dangle the preposition at the end instead). So I don't have a good feel for its use in Britglish. The speaker is sort of a timeless AU version of adult Remus, speaking to Minerva, and he's saying something like "Who(m) did you bring with you?". Would it make a difference if it was Sirius or Hagrid speaking? Does it matter who(m) they are talking to?

ETA: Looks like I can leave it as "who" - thanks everyone!

Comments

In my experience most people say "who", especially when speaking as opposed to writing. Minerva, Flitwick and Albus might say "whom" as they are both very educated and from an older generation, and Hermione might because she's a stickler for correctness, but the other characters probably wouldn't, unless they were in a really formal situation.
I agree - even characters who might use whom sometimes in speech would only do it after 'to' and never as the first word in a sentemce.
Yeah, it sounds particularly weird to me as the first word in the sentence, although technically it could be correct there. Thanks!
I agree with this comment as well.
Thanks, you're telling me what I hoped to hear!
Thank you! That was what i was hoping, because trying to change the sentence to "Whom" did not sound right to me.
I don't know many people who would use 'whom' in conversation, and I work with editors. In fact, I don't think any of the non-editors would use 'whom' ever, or indeed have a clue how to.
Thanks! I teach English to non-native speakers, and some of them look askance at me when I tell them that in American English, "whom" is only obligatory when it follows a preposition (which it seldom does, since we usually leave them to dangle). I'm never sure that British English is as relaxed, though.



Edited at 2016-08-06 11:27 pm (UTC)
In my experience, not that often; I think people tend to say "who" for both subject and object more often than not. But it's not unheard of.
thanks!
I mostly agree with everything said above; however, must admit that I am guilty of using 'whom' conversationally sometimes, but only in the phrases where the sentence stress would fall on it, i.e. "By whom?" instead of "Who by?" I hear this quite a lot from others, so clearly I am not in a minority of one :) "Who(m) did you bring with you?" could go either way, depending on the company/occasion, and "Does it matter whom they are talking to?" would actually sound ungrammatical to me - in writing, I would use "to whom they are talking". Otherwise, "who" is fine in most cases.
Thanks!
I think most people would say "Who", even if they'd write whom. You might say, "She gave it to Fred, who she'd bought it for", but you might well write "She gave it to Fred, for whom she'd bought it."

Mind you, if you wanted to be particularly sarcastic - if Professor McGonagall thought someone had been rude, for instance, they might well say, "To whom do you think you are speaking?" but that is mostly for emphasis, and wouldn't happen in general speech.
thanks!
I would say 'With whom did you come?' I'm an American, but a stickler for correct grammar.
Yes, I shouldn't try to speak for Americans in general.

This is specifically someone who is brought, not just accompanying.

Edited at 2016-08-06 11:29 pm (UTC)