who [ hu ] pronoun ***
Who can be used in the following ways:
as a question pronoun (introducing a direct or indirect question):
Who's going to drive?
I wonder who they chose to be captain.
Who did you give the money to?
as a relative pronoun (referring back to a person and starting a relative clause):
I want to speak to the person who deals with my account.
She was with her husband, who I had already met. (starting a relative clause that is the subject, object, or complement of another clause):
I don't know who she is.
Notice that who can be used as the subject or object of a verb or preposition. In formal English whom is often used instead of who as the object of a verb and especially as the object of a preposition, but it sounds very formal to say:
To whom did you speak? It is more normal to put the preposition at the end and say:
Who did you speak to?
1. ) used for asking which person is involved in something, or what someone's name is:
Who killed John F. Kennedy?
Who was that guy I saw you with last night?
Who did you hire for the sales position?
Who does this place belong to?
Do you know who's been invited to Claire's dinner party?
Who is that? It's Karen don't you recognize her?
who else (=which other person): Who else did you tell the secret to?
a ) used when someone knows or says which person is involved in something or what their name is:
They've already offered the job to someone, but I don't know who.
Curry refused to say who had organized the meeting.
We have to be very careful who we deal with.
Martha won't say who she voted for in the last election.
2. ) used for adding more information about a person when it is already clear which person you are talking about:
I recently talked to Michael Hall, who teaches music at the university.
I want you to meet my friend Marjorie, who I think I mentioned in my last letter.
3. ) => NOTE used for adding information that shows which person or type of person you are talking about. It is more usual to use that to introduce this type of relative clause:
We only employ people who already have computer skills.
We got the same answer from everyone who we spoke to.
I think Bramwell was the one who first suggested the idea.
who is someone to do something? MAINLY SPOKEN
used for saying that someone does not have the right to do something:
Who are we to criticize the French when we do the same thing ourselves?
who knows/cares/wants/needs etc. SPOKEN
used for saying that you do not know/care etc., and you think no one else does:
Won't Terry be upset? Who cares? He never thinks about anyone but himself.
who's who
if you know who's who in an organization, you know what position or job each person has in the organization:
I only started work here last week, so I'm still learning who's who and who does what.
a who's who of something
a list of important people in a particular area of activity:
The invitation list reads like a who's who of the theater world.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Who — *Who (pronoun) is an English language interrogative pronoun.In Fiction* Who? (novel) , a 1958 novel by science fiction author Algis Budrys, turned into a film with the same title in 1973 * Doctor Who , a British science fiction television series …   Wikipedia

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  • who — O.E. hwa, from P.Gmc. *khwas, *khwes, *khwo (Cf. O.S. hwe, Dan. hvo, Swed. vem, O.Fris. hwa, Du. wie, O.H.G. hwer, Ger. wer, Goth. hvo (fem.) who ), from PIE *qwos/*qwes (Cf. Skt. kah …   Etymology dictionary

  • who'll — (who will) v. which will, that will (used together with another verb to indicate future tense) who ll (who shall) v. who, who will, one who will (added to directive verbs in the future tense) …   English contemporary dictionary

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