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# help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents

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help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2011, 11:50
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hi all,
I am having trouble understanding when to use "Who" vs. "Whom", I understand that who is to be used when taking about the subject of the sentence, and whom is to be used when talking about the object. I find it hard to distinguish between the two.
can some explain this with an example if possible?

Also,
In a sentence, can a pronoun refer to a noun that is after it? for example.
Many of Guy de Maupassant's short stories have become classics because of how he famously and masterfully uses irony, evident in the slow revelation of a tragic twist of fate at the end of each piece.

In this example above I know that it is wrong because "he" does not have antecedent... but if the name of a person was stated after the pronoun "he" would this make the sentence correct? like in the following example

Many of Guy de Maupassant's short stories have become classics because of how he famously and masterfully uses irony, Guy de Maupassant made excellent short stories.

Or can you not have an antecedent of a pronoun stated after it?

regards
If you have any questions
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Re: help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2011, 12:53
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First, who vs. whom. These are used the same way as "he" and "him." (This might help you to remember, as "him" and "whom" both end in m.) The only noticeable difference is word order. We don't usually end sentence with "whom," although it would be fine to do so. It usually shows up earlier in a sentence, especially if we are asking a question.

Who is responsible for this mess?
He is responsible for this mess.

Whom should I blame?
You should blame him.

Who jumped over the fence?
He jumped over the fence.

To whom did you speak?
I spoke to him.

Because Tom worked the hardest, I gave him a bonus.
Tom is the member of the team to whom I gave a bonus.

I paid a bonus to the person who worked the hardest. (Here, "who" has its own verb--"worked"--so it is a subject pronoun.)
Tom earned a bonus because he worked the hardest.

Second, the pronoun-antecedent issue. Yes, a pronoun can show up before the antecedent. You may be sick of Tom and his bonus by now, but I could also say "Because he worked the hardest, Tom earned a bonus."

However, there is a problem with your example. By the time you get to "he," you already have a complete independent clause:

Many of Guy de Maupassant's short stories have become classics because of how he famously and masterfully uses irony.

At this point, it's too late to add in the antecedent, because the thought has been completed. The additional piece you add on should be a separate sentence, or at the very least should be separated by a semicolon. In this case, it wouldn't make much sense to add the author's name with the possessive and "he" already in there. Here are a few more examples where putting the pronoun first makes sense:

After he was elected president, Abraham Lincoln found that he had less time to play video games.
Finding him rude and unpleasant, the committee was quick to reject McLaughlin.
After her impressive performance in the semifinals, Maria quickly attracted a number of potential sponsors.

I hope this helps!
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Re: help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2011, 13:25
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Re: help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2014, 22:38
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2015, 09:40
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents   [#permalink] 09 Oct 2015, 09:40
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# help! who vs whom and pronoun antecedents

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