Good Example of “Who” and “Whom.”

Maybe the title should be “Whom and Who.” That’s the order in our example sentence:

Naipaul is best understood as an inquiline, as a man whom the English have tried to absorb, but a man who has clung to displacement like a floating buoy.”

The Voyage in — A Way in the World by V.S. Naipaul; The New Republic (Washington, DC); Jun 13, 1994.

I got the sentence from, a site that produces A Word A Day, and I highly recommend that you subscribe.

  • Look at the “whom.” The subject is “the English,” so “whom” is the direct object. (Rearrange it: The English tried to absorb him.”)
  • Now look at the “who.” “Who” is the subject. “Who” did the clinging.

Both usages are correct. Good for them.

Since you might be curious, shamelessly copied from Wikipedia:

Image result for Naipaul

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul TC, most commonly known as V. S. Naipaul, and informally, Vidia Naipaul, was a Trinidadian and Tobagonian British writer of works of fiction and nonfiction in English.  Nobel Prize in Literature, Booker Prize, Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society