subject and object forms

  • Six English words have one form when they are used as subjects, and a different form when they are used as objects.
      subject object
      I me
      he him
      she her
      we us
      they them
      who whom

      Compare:
      / like dogs. We went to see her.
      Dogs don’t like me. She came to see us.
      This is Mr Perkins, who works with me.
      This is Mr Perkins, with whom I am working at the moment.

  • In informal English, we use object-forms (me, him etc) after be and in one-word answers.
      ‘Who’s that?’ ‘It’s me. ‘
      ‘Who said that?’ Him. ‘
      In a more formal style, we prefer to use a subject form with a verb.
      ‘Who said that?’ He did ‘
  • Whom is not often used in informal English. We prefer to use who as an object, especially in questions.
      Who did you go with?
      Who have you invited?

    We use whom in a more formal style; and we must use whom after a preposition.

      Whom did they arrest? (formal)
      With whom did you go? (very formal)
  • After as, than, but and except, we use object forms in an informal style.
      My sister’s nearly as tall as me.
      I’m prettier than her.
      Everybody but me knew what was happening.
      Everybody except him can come.

    Subject forms are used in a more formal style (usually with auxiliary verbs) after as and than.

      My sister’s nearly as tail as I am.
      I’m prettier than she is