Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Know Whom To Trust Now!

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I was not able to post this entry yesterday. I was facilitating a workshop all day and I got home so late. When I get busy, it's hard to find the time to post an entry.

My aunt, Tita Myra Chan-Cruz, sent me an SMS message the other day detailing a glaring English error she was told about. This error occurred in a half-page ad in a major newspaper. The ad was Kris Aquino's latest endorsement for some body-improvement center. No offense to Kris Aquino, but the error still has to be addressed. The ad read, "I know who to trust now!" In this case, it's not "who to trust" but "whom to trust."

The difference between who and whom is one that is often neglected now. The reason is whom has lately been considered rather formal in tone, which is why it is rarely used. Simply put, the difference lies in how the word is used in a sentence. If the subject is the person, then we use who; if the person is the object, then we use whom. In the ad mentioned, the person is the object of the sentence; therefore, whom is appropriate (the subject of the sentence is Kris Aquino, who is talking, the "I" in the sentence). Who is used in sentences such as these: "Who drank the last bottle of wine?" and "Who are you going to the movies with?" In both cases, who is the subject of the sentence (the person who drank the wine, the person who is going to the movies).

The lesson in all this? Don't always believe the English in newspapers. If you want to learn English via reading, it's best to read very good books.

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