- WHO stands for the World Health Organization.
An example of WHO is the organization that is concerned with international public health matters.
- The definition of who is a reference to a person or people.
An example of who is someone asking the identity of a person; who is that child?
- what or which person or persons: used to introduce a direct, indirect, or implied question: who is he? I asked who he was; I don't know who he is
- the person or persons that, or a person that: used to introduce a relative clause: the man who came to dinner
- any person or persons that; whoever: used as an indefinite relative with an implied antecedent: “who steals my purse steals trash”
Origin of whoMiddle English who, ho, hwo from Old English hwa, masculine and feminine , hwæt, neuter , who? what? (akin to Classical Latin qui): for Indo-European base see what
as who should say
- What or which person or persons: Who left?
- Used as a relative pronoun to introduce a clause when the antecedent is a person or persons or one to whom personality is attributed: the visitor who came yesterday; our child, who is gifted; informed sources who denied the story.
- The person or persons that; whoever: Who believes that will believe anything.
Origin of whoMiddle English from Old English hwā ; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: According to the traditional rule, who is a nominative pronoun (that is, it acts as the subject of a clause) and whom is an objective pronoun (that is, it acts as a grammatical object). Thus it's correct to say I like the actor who supports the governor, where the relative pronoun who is the subject of supports the governor, or Who supports the governor? where the interrogative pronoun who is the subject of supports the governor. Like other nominative pronouns, who can also serve as the complement of a linking verb, as in We learned who the governor's supporter is, where who is the complement of the linking verb is whose subject is the governor's supporter. In contrast, whom is correct in I despise the governor whom the actor supports and Whom does the actor support? where whom is the object of support, and the governor whom the actor campaigned for (or for whom the actor campaigned ), where it is the object of the preposition for. Note that in all these cases, whom is used when it is the object of the verb or preposition, not when it merely comes after the verb or preposition. When the relative pronoun is the subject of an embedded clause, as in I wonder who supports the governor? or I know nothing about who supports the governor, who is correct and whom is an error, because in these instances it is the entire clause, not just the pronoun, that is the object of the verb wonder or the preposition about. • Despite the traditional grammatical distinctions outlined above, in practice whom is uncommon in speech and everyday writing because it has a formal tone. In informal contexts, who often replaces whom, as in Who does the actor support? or I despise the governor who the actor supports. (A common workaround for the problematic choice between formal whom and grammatically questionable who is to replace the relative pronoun with that, converting the governor whom the actor supports into the governor that the actor supports, or to omit it altogether, yielding the governor the actor supports. ) Whom survives as the standard form when it is the grammatical object of a preposition that immediately precedes it, as in the governor for whom (not for who ) the actor campaigned. • Some usage guides insist that who should be used only for humans, and that which or that must be used for animals, but that is not true when the animal is construed as similar to humans because it is given a name, considered as an individual, or credited with belief and volition. In our 2013 ballot, 76 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the use of who as a relative pronoun in The dogs who obeyed the commands got a treat, and the vast majority (93 percent) accepted it in My spaniel Molly, who is two years old, has just had a litter of puppies. See Usage Note at else. See Usage Note at that. See Usage Note at whose.
(singular or plural, nominative case, possessive whose, objective case whom)
(Note that who is usually used instead of whom, especially in informal contexts.)
- (interrogative pronoun) What person or people; which person or people (used in a direct or indirect question).
- Who is that? (direct question)
- I don't know who it is. (indirect question)
- (relative pronoun) The person or people that.
- It was a nice man who helped us.
Whom is an object pronoun, while who is both a subject and object pronoun. One would never use whom as the subject of a verb though who is commonly used as an object. One method to use to determine correctness of who vs. whom is to rephrase the sentence to eliminate who or whom in favor of he, him, she, her, they or them. If you would have used he, she, or they, in place of the word, then who is the correct word; if you would have used him, her, or them, then either who or whom is correct. The exception is when it is the object of a fronted prepositional phrase in a question or relative clause, in which case whom is almost always used (e.g., With whom (not who) did you go?).
The forms whoever and whomever usually belong to two clauses: an internal clause and an external clause. In "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods", the verb of the internal clause is undertakes and the verb of the external clause is is shipwrecked. The case of who(m)ever is determined by the internal clause: the nominative (subjective) case whoever is used because it is the subject of the verb undertakes. The subject of the external clause is not actually whoever by itself, but rather the entire internal clause: if we allow the variable X to stand for the internal clause, the external clause is "X is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods". If an internal clause is the object of an external clause, the case of who(m)ever is still determined by its role in the internal clause, for example: "Let whoever is without sin cast the first stone". Here, the external clause is "Let X cast the first stone" and the internal clause is "whoever is without sin". Whoever is the subject of the internal clause, so it is in the nominative case. Even though X in the external clause is the object (compare "Let him cast the first stone), it is the internal clause that decides whether whoever or whomever is correct. "Let whomever is without sin cast the first stone" is thus strictly speaking incorrect (although such constructions are widely encountered).
When "who" (the other relative pronouns "that" and "which") is used as the subject of a relative clause, the verb agrees with the antecedent of the pronoun. Thus "I who am...", "He who is...", "You who are...", etc.
- A person under discussion; a question of which person.
- The World Health Organization