Bill   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 00:12 GMT
Is this word dying out?
Jim   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 03:27 GMT
I reckon so but in the phrase "To whom it may concern," it's going strong.
R   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 07:22 GMT
I reckon so too but in the song "For whom the bell tolls", it's going to live forever. :)
dian   Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 08:39 GMT
Don't we must use in the following sentence: "With whom do you speak?" Or, is there another way to say the same sentence without using whom?
Alice   Thursday, January 15, 2004, 07:57 GMT
I use "whom" often, but I'm grammar mad!
mjd   Thursday, January 15, 2004, 08:03 GMT
Whom is often reserved for formal speaking and writing, but I wouldn't say it's in danger of becoming extinct. One will see it often.
Kristin   Thursday, January 15, 2004, 11:15 GMT
I hardly hear it, hardly use it.

dian, I think the only way to get around not using 'whom' in your question is to either use incorrect grammar or rephrase: 'Did you speak with [person's name]?'
Jim   Friday, January 16, 2004, 00:37 GMT
"With whom do you speak?" is the same as "Who do you speak with?"

There may be those who'd say that you oughtn't end a question or sentence with a preposition but there are also other who say that that is a rule up with which they cannot put. Unless you're writing or speaking in a formal context you'd easily get away with it.


"Did you speak with [person's name]?" is in the past tense. Didn't you mean "Do you speak with [person's name]?"? Wouldn't you agree that, except perhaps in a formal context, claiming that "Who do you speak with?" and "Who did you speak with?" use incorrect grammar is being just a little pedantic?
Bill   Friday, January 16, 2004, 00:40 GMT
Jim, I've been hearing you have been using some rarely used contractions like, oughtn't, mayn't, shan't, mustn't etc. I rarely hear those contractions.
dian   Friday, January 16, 2004, 02:32 GMT
Thank you for your explanation about how to use an alternative way of using "with whom do you speak?".

But, "with whom do you speak?" is more popular in my ears, considering that I mostly listen an English conversation from English-based movies. I also read it from most of English books in my country. If you want to say it, use that sentence.

But, in general, which one is the most popular one? What do you usually use in a conversation? Because you're a native speaker, you know which sentence you use most.
Jim   Friday, January 16, 2004, 02:32 GMT
I like them. 'Tis just my odd style I s'pose. Though one I've never actually used is "mayn't". I might use "mightn't" but never "mayn't".
mjd   Friday, January 16, 2004, 08:42 GMT

If I were writing formally I'd write: "To whom were you speaking?"

If I were speaking with my friends I'd probably say: "Who were you speaking to?"

One is formal and the other is just more colloquial.
Andre   Sunday, January 18, 2004, 12:57 GMT
Whom who house is in glass, should'nt throws a stones.
Alice   Sunday, January 18, 2004, 17:14 GMT
Dian -
"Who did you speak with" is probably much more common colloquially. I always try to avoid endig sentences with prepositions myself, but I do slip up from time to time. My advice to you is to learn to speak as properly as possible to begin with. Then later on if you wish to be more casual, you can alter your speech to reflect that. If you learn it properly, you'll always be able to speak formally when necessary.
Jim   Sunday, January 18, 2004, 23:34 GMT
"He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones."