Is It “Most Of Which” Or “Most Of Whom”? (Correct Version)

When it comes to quantifying objects in a sentence, you might have encountered phrases like “most of whom” or “most of which” before. In this article, we will be looking at the differences between “most of whom,” “most of who,” and “most of which” and when to use them.

Which Is Correct: “Most Of Which” Or “Most Of Whom”?

“Most of which” and “most of whom” are both correct but are used differently. “Most of which” is used to quantify things or animals (“I have thirty cats, most of which are tabby”). “Most of whom” is used to quantify people (“I have six friends, most of whom are male”).

Which Is Correct: "Most Of Which" Or "Most Of Whom"?

Both “whom” and “which” are objective pronouns and are used to replace the object of the sentence. We typically replace objective pronouns like “him” or “them” when we’re using “whom” or which.”

For example:

  • I have six friends, most of them are male.
  • I have six friends, most of whom are male.

We replace the objective pronoun “them” in this sentence and use “whom” instead. Both forms are correct; it just depends if you want to use the formal tone “whom” or not.

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Examples With “Most Of Whom”

Let’s go over some examples of when we might use “most of whom” in a sentence. Remember, it’s a quantifying relative phrase, meaning that “most” of a select group of people are being referred to.

“Most of whom” refers to a group of people that were previously mentioned in a sentence. It has to refer to people because “whom” is an objective pronoun used only for people.

  1. I have ten colleagues in my office, most of whom are female.
  2. I have six friends, most of whom are older than me.
  3. My family has about thirty members, most of whom are living abroad.
  4. America has a large population of people, most of whom are happy about their living situation.
  5. One thousand people rated and reviewed this product, most of whom were unhappy with it.

As you can see, we always use “most of whom” after a comma because it comes directly after a clause in the sentence. It’s used as a relative phrase to quantify the number of people from the previous statement.

“Most” is a relative word. It can mean something as simple as three people while also meaning more than one million. It’s relative to the context of the sentence, which is why “most of whom” is seen as a relative phrase.

  • I have six friends, most of whom are male.
  • Thirty million people live here, most of whom came from elsewhere.

As you can see from these sentences, the “most” number is different for each one. “Most” refers to the larger number of the group if it was divided. In the case of “six friends,” most could equal four or five (but not all six). However, in the case of “thirty million,” “most” can suddenly mean twenty million or more.

The easiest way to define “most” as a relative term is to say “more than half but never all.”

Is It “Most Of Who” Or “Most Of Whom”?

Now let’s look at the difference between “most of who” and “most of whom.” We’ve yet to mention “most of who” in any situation, and that’s because it’s always wrong.

“Most of who” is grammatically incorrect and should not be used. “Who” is a subjective pronoun, meaning we replace the subject of the sentence. After “most of,” we need an object for the sentence to make sense, which is why it doesn’t work.

We can make it simpler by replacing the word “who” with a subjective pronoun and seeing if a sentence still makes sense. We did the same with “whom” above, where we replaced it with “them” as an objective pronoun.

  • I have many friends, most of who are female.
  • I have many friends, most of they are female.

As you can see, neither of these cases are correct. “They” is never the object of the sentence, which is why we can’t use it after “most of.” The same logic is therefore applied to using “who” in this case.

Should You Use “Most Of Whom” Or “Most Of Them”?

Generally, the phrases “most of whom” and “most of them” are interchangeable, and you can use whichever one you’re more comfortable or familiar with.

“Most of whom” is the more formal choice. “Most of them” is still correct but is used in informal situations.

You can decide whether you need to convey a formal or informal tone when you’re writing. That’s the only decider when it comes to whether you want to use “most of whom” or “most of them.” Either way, both are correct, and you can’t go wrong with either of them.

Generally, “most of whom” is used more commonly in writing, while “most of them” is used more commonly in speaking. Speaking rules often don’t require to be followed as closely as writing rules, which is why we allow ourselves more casual tones when we talk.

Synonyms For “Most Of Whom”

Finding out about synonyms and alternatives is a great way to practice our language skills and further our vocabulary. We’ll run you through some of the best synonyms for “most of whom” so you can start using them yourself more often.

We can use “some” as a relative word to quantify a number of people as well. “Some of whom” also refers to people, but it’s usually talking about a relative number that’s slightly less than “most.”

  • Of whom

If you’re able to quantify the number exactly, simply saying “of whom” works well as a synonym. For example, “I have six friends, of whom four are male” is a great way to quantify it if you know the exact number.

  • Many of whom

We use “many” and “most” similarly, showing that the two phrases are interchangeable.

The only thing that must stay the same for each synonym is the “whom” portion of it. “Whom” refers to people, meaning it must stay when we’re talking about people.

What Is The Meaning Of “Most Of Which”?

“Most of which” is similar in almost every way to “most of whom.” The only difference you have to note is an obvious one, making it fairly easy to remember when to use which when the time comes.

“Most of which” is used to quantify a number of objects that are things or animals. Basically, if we’re not talking about people, we can use “most of which” to describe the amount.

That’s all there is to it. The meanings are identical otherwise. “Which” is another objective pronoun which we use to replace the word “them” in a sentence. “Most of which” is seen as the more formal and popular choice over “most of them.”

How Do You Use “Most Of Which”?

Examples go a long way in helping us with our understanding, so let’s do a few for “most of which” as we did above for “most of whom.”

“Most of which” refers to a group of things or animals. If we’re not talking about people, then “which” is the correct objective pronoun to use in every case.

  1. I have many possessions in my home, most of which are up for sale.
  2. I can’t count how many things I have in my collection, most of which I don’t even remember buying.
  3. There are many things you don’t know about this school, most of which damage the reputation if they get out.
  4. You have six toothbrushes in that cup, most of which are old and manky.
  5. I counted thirteen chimpanzees, most of which were still asleep!

As you can see, we can talk about either things or animals when we use “most of which.” That’s the only rule you have to follow.

Can You Start A Sentence With “Most Of Which”?

Generally, when we use “most of which” and “most of whom,” we have to use them in the middle of the sentence. You might not be certain why we do this, so let’s explain.

You can’t start a sentence with “most of which” because it needs to define and quantify something from the previous clause. For that reason, you can only state the clause, then put a comma after it, then follow it with “most of which.”

If we don’t include a clause, then we can’t explain the quantity of what we’re talking about.

  • Most of which you’ll never understand.

This is considered to be an incomplete sentence that doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing we’re using to explain what we don’t understand.

  • There are many explanations out there about space travel, most of which you’ll never understand.

This is the correct way to use “most of which.

Synonyms For “Most Of Which”

We’ll finish with some synonyms of “most of which” to see when we can use alternatives.

  • Of which

Again, if we know the exact quantity, then we can start the clause with “of which.” “I saw six elephants, of which three had one tusk.”

  • Some of which

“Some” is a quantifiable word just like “most,” though it often refers to fewer things.