In the sentence below, which version is correct:
John pretty much knows who’s slept with who within certain circles in Manhattan.
John pretty much knows who’s slept with whom within certain circles in Manhattan.
Option 2 seems grammatically correct to me, but it also sounds stilted and very formal. If I were writing a novel whose style were not that elevated, would option 1 be acceptable?
Thank you for any advice.
This article highlights the easiest way to distinguish the words:
Rule. Use this he/him method to decide whether who or whom is correct:
he = who
him = whom
Examples: Who/Whom wrote the letter? He wrote the letter. Therefore, who is correct.
[For] Who/Whom should I vote? Should I vote for him? Therefore, whom
We all know who/whom pulled that prank. He pulled that prank.
Therefore, who is correct.
Using the above logic,
he’s slept with him
Therefore one should use whom
On the other hand we should note that usage of whom has dropped massively, particularly in the spoken word and it is often seen as archaic or pedantic.
As this Ngram shows, use has fallen steadily over the years even in writing.