Here are the answers to last week's pronoun challenge, brought to you, as so many times, by Jing Ping Fan. I have supplemented her explanation in number 7--the rest is hers.
- Who's/whose shoes are in the dryer?
(Whose) - possessive pronoun
- Who's/whose on first?
(Who's)- subject of the sentence, meaning "who is"
- To who/whom should I address my cover letter?
(To whom) -object of the verb address
- Who/whom painted your dining room?
(Who) - subject
- Who/whom shall I say is calling?
- You gave your camp stove to who/whom?
(Whom) -object of the preposition
- Those guys in the stretch limo are who/whom?
(Who) -subject (The sentence can be changed into "Who are those guys in the stretch limo?" Further [Jennie's note], with a linking verb such as are, the subject guys and the pronoun who acting as the predicate nominative are the same people, thus both are effectively in the subject role in the sentence.)
- Who/whom do you think will be elected?
(Who) -subject (Who will be elected, do you think?")
- Who/whom do you think they will nominate?
- Who/whom do you think will win?
(Who) - subject
It is easy to make the choice when [you know] "who" is used as the subject, "whom" is used as the object of the sentence, [and] "whose" (possessive pronoun) is used as a modifier. [In addition, whom is used as the object of a preposition, as in "to whom" or "for whom."]
Of the 20 readers who answered the challenge this week, the following readers submitted completely correct answers:Cathy A. Mackie, Geri A. Moran, Ginny Supranowitz, Jing Ping Fan, Leigh Pedwell, Tara Allen, Vera I. Sytch, and Vicki Hendricks. In addition, quite a few people submitted answers with only one incorrect answer. The most difficult sentence was number 8. Many people who got all of the others correct missed that one. The problem is that the sentence uses the passive voice, so that the grammatical subject of the sentence, the word who, seems to be on the receiving end of the action, causing many people to mistakenly think it was the object. Nevertheless, as the subject of the passive verb "will be elected," who should be in its subject form, not its object form.
Another hard question for many was number 5. There, the word who was the subject of the verb "is calling"--many of you were distracted by the interrupting clause "shall I say."
Here is a new challenge. Correct each of these incorrect uses of their without using the standard "his or her" replacement phrase. Rewriting the sentence as needed is encouraged. As always, you can send your answers directly to me.
- Everyone must bring their own golf clubs to the tournament.
- Each of the tourists has their ticket in their hand.
- Every one of the participants had their certificate by the end of the course.
- Anyone can win their dream vacation in this drawing.
- One of the instructors had their degree in economics.
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