“For Who” or “For Whom”? Correct Version (With Examples)

You need to understand the difference between object and subject pronouns when using “whom” and “who.” This article will explain how the phrase “for whom” works and all the things you need to get it right.

Is It “For Who” or “For Whom”?

“For whom” is correct because “whom” is the object form that modifies the preposition “for.” “For who” is incorrect, as you cannot correctly use the subject of the sentence (who) alongside a preposition like “for.” It goes against standard English rules in this way.

for who or for whom

You can replace “whom” with other object pronouns to verify whether it’s correct. Object pronouns like “him” and “her” are good examples because the phrases “for him” and “for her” make perfect sense.

On the flip side, we can’t say “for I” or “for he” (which are subject pronouns like “who”). With this, it’s clear that the two phrases are not interchangeable since “for who” is incorrect.

In formal and informal writing, you should only stick to “for whom” to make sure you’re writing in a grammatically correct way.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “for whom” is the best way to write the phrase. It’s the most popular choice in the graph, showing that it’s the only correct one you should stick with.

for who or for whom english usage

For Who

“For who” is incorrect when using formal grammar rules. You should not use it because the subject of the sentence does not come after “for” (or any preposition). “Who” is the subject of the sentence. It should not be used.

  • Correct: For whom do you work again? I feel like we need to have this discussion.
  • Incorrect: For who do you speak, boy? I want to know who hired you.
  • Correct: I’m not going to tell you for whom I do this task. It’s best left unsaid.
  • Incorrect: For who do you speak again? I know it was someone important, but I can’t remember who!

For Whom

“For whom” is the correct way to write this phrase. “Whom” works because it’s the object pronoun, which comes directly after the preposition “for.” The object modifies the preposition, which is why it’s correct to use it in this way.

  1. My father, for whom I am grateful, has left me with a lot of debt. I’m sorry, but how am I supposed to handle that.
  2. I do not care for whom this works. I just want to make sure that everyone is on the same page with this.
  3. Daniel, for whom I do this deed, does not want to get his hands dirty. That’s why he’s put me in charge of it.
  4. Sarah, for whom I work, has set me many tasks in my time here. I’m not entirely sure if I can follow through with them.

For Which

“For which” is a more general form than the others. “Which” refers to objects and items, while “whom” refers to people only. It’s best to use “which” whenever you’re using the preposition “for” to refer to other objects.

  1. These objects, for which I am eternally grateful, need to be purged. I’m sorry, but they can’t stay here.
  2. I’m not sure for which crime you’re punishing him. Nevertheless, I back you all the way to the end.
  3. I will find out for which person this gift was meant. That’s the only fair way for us to put an end to this.
  4. For which organization do you speak? I feel like there’s something fundamental we’re missing here.

Is It “Who For” or “Whom For”?

When the positions are swapped, “who for” becomes the grammatically correct variation. You should use “who for” rather than “whom for” because the subject form of “who” is required when it falls before the preposition. There is no reason to use “whom” here.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “who for” is by far the most popular choice. This shows that it’s the one you should stick to using. It makes the most sense because it allows us to use the subject form before the preposition.

who for or whom for

Final Thoughts

“For whom” should be the only one you stick to using. It’s correct to use the object form “whom” after a preposition. You should not use “for who” if you want to follow the grammar rules associated with using a preposition before a pronoun.

You may also like:
“Those Who” or “Those Whom”? Correct Version (With Examples)
“Who Else” or “Whom Else”? Correct Version (With Examples)
“People Who” or “People Whom”? Correct Version (+Examples)