Archive for the ‘Verbal’ Category

who VS whom

December 20, 2009 1 comment

Who is used to address subject of the sentence.

Whom is used to address object of the sentence.

excerpt from Andrea’s post on beatthegmat:

If a question about the action being described would be answered with “he” then the correct form is “who.” If a question about the action being described would be answered with “him,” then the correct form is “whom.” Just remember that the words with M’s at the end go together. He = Who, and Him = Whom.

In answer to Jennifer’s query, she was told that in the record store, there is a list of available recordings of lesser-known Jazz artists of whom recordings survive who played at the famous Cat’s Meow speakeasy.

“…Jazz artists of whom recordings survive…” we ask “Which artists are the recordings of?” And the answer is, “The recordings are of them.” Thus, “whom” is correct in the sentence. And then we examine the verb “played,” which is in the past tense. The subject of that verb would be “they,” as in “they played,” which would make the correct pronoun “who.” In this sentence, then, both of those pronouns are used correctly.

Explanation by Grammar Girl: (Very important)
Here’s an example of the kind of questions that are coming in. Derrick from Oakland, CA, recently read a story in the Wall Street Journal about restaurants that offer tasting menus that pair wine with food, and he came across this sentence about the sommelier:
We never did meet his teammate … who[m] he said works the room in his absence.

Derrick thought the whom seemed out of place and asked me to explain why. He’s right, and I will have a quick and dirty tip for you, but first, I want to explain in grammatical terms why it should be who.

First, you have to separate out the clause that contains the who or whom. All you need to care about is how the who or whom functions within that clause.
In the example sentence–We never did meet his teammate who he said works the room in his absence–the last part (who he said works the room in his absence) is something called an adjectival clause. That just means the whole thing functions as an adjective to tell use more about the teammate. Who is the teammate? Someone who he says works the room in his absence.
The part that always seems to mess people up in clauses like that is the he says part. Someone who [he says] works the room in his absence.
It seems as if people see the he and think it might be the subject of the clause, but it’s not. The good news is that he says is a separate clause within the adjectival clause, and you can just ignore it. It’s parenthetical–an aside (1, 2). Take it out in your imagination as you look at the sentence or cross it out. Taking it out leaves you with the clause who works the room in his absence.
So our original question is actually:
In June, 1981, six teenagers in the village of Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, claimed to have had visions of the Virgin Mary, who ,they say, has continued to appear to them over the ensuing years.
In June, 1981, six teenagers in the village of Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, claimed to have had visions of the Virgin Mary, who has continued to appear to them over the ensuing years.


Categories: who VS whom


December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

To differentiate between I and Me, there is a very simple rule:

In any sentence that tests this comparison, read the sentence with only I or Me pronouns. Wrongly used pronoun will sound incorrect.


Omer and me went to the Hyperstar. (✓)

Me went to the hyperstar (×)

I went to the hyperstar. (✓)

Omer and I went to the Hyperstar. (✓)

Categories: I VS Me

Compare to VS Compare with

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Compare to is used when comparing between dissimilar things.

eg: He compared her smile to a shining star.

The economy can be compared to a stallion charging at the gate.

Compare with is used when comparing similar things or attributes.


It would be interesting to compare Telenor with Mobilink.

History compares Rustum with Sohrab.

As VS Like

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Like = preposition (a word that ‘positions’ or situates words in relation to one another)

As = Conjunction (conjunction is simply a connecting word)

Use like, when it refers to noun or adjectives only.

Use as when it involves verbs, adverbs, clauses etc (actually anything other than nouns & adjectives)


He is like Hulk.

He fumes in anger as if  he were HULK.

It acted just like my computer.

It acted just as I would expect my computer to behave.

like can not be used to give examples. Rather such as is the correct word.

One last point:

Other than the above use, as is used sometimes serving as a preposition with the meaning of “in the capacity of”.

eg: Modern critics are amused by early scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as an ethnographic treatise.

Categories: As vs Like

That VS Which

September 6, 2009 Leave a comment

That  = Restrictive Clause

Which = Everything else ( non restrictive clause)

Restrictive clause means the meaning of the sentence will change if it is omitted. Its necessary.

Non restrictive clauses on the other hand are not necessary and do not alter the sentence meaning if omitted.

Method: omit the part of sentence after ‘that’ or ‘which’ and see if  it still conveys the same meaning.


This is the tree that bears the most fruits.

This is the tree … ??

Also restrictive clause will usually not be set by commas

The story is coming to an end, which means we can leave soon.

The story is coming to an end.

Which usually will be surrounded by commas.

Categories: That VS Which


August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Recognize a gerund when you see one.

Every gerund, without exception, ends in ing. Gerunds are not, however, all that easy to identify. The problem is that all present participles also end in ing. What is the difference?

Gerunds function as nouns. Thus, gerunds will be subjects, subject complements, direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions.

Present participles, on the other hand, complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.

Read these examples of gerunds:

Since Francisco was five years old, swimming has been his passion.

Swimming = subject of the verb has been.

Francisco’s first love is swimming.

Swimming = subject complement of the verb is.

Francisco enjoys swimming more than spending time with his girlfriend Diana.

Swimming = direct object of the verb enjoys.

Francisco gives swimming all of his energy and time.

Swimming = indirect object of the verb gives.

When Francisco wore dive fins to class, everyone knew that he was devoted to swimming.

Swimming = object of the preposition to.

These ing words are examples of present participles:

One day last summer, Francisco and his coach were swimming at Daytona Beach.

Swimming = present participle completing the past progressive verb were swimming.

A great white shark ate Francisco’s swimming coach.

Swimming = present participle modifying coach.

Now Francisco practices his sport in safe swimming pools.

Swimming = present participle modifying pools

Categories: Gerunds

May be VS Probably

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

probably is “likely” to be true.

may be introduces an element of doubt in the argument.

Usually, ‘probably’ and ‘likely’ are ‘more likely’ than ‘maybe’ and ‘perhaps’.

Also be careful when you see maybe(ONE WORD) on GMAT, it is unidiomatic according to GMAT, cant be used in any case.

Categories: May be VS Probably