BBC Grammar

Surely this BBC story has incorrect grammar in its sub-headline:

"A mother drowned her three-year-old daughter in a bath a month after separating from her husband, whom she believed was having an affair, a court has heard".

Am I right in saying it should be "who" not "whom"?

I think it would be whom if it said "whom she suspected of having an affair"

Original Post
silverchalk posted:

"A mother drowned her three-year-old daughter in a bath a month after separating from her husband, whom she believed was having an affair, a court has heard".

Am I right in saying it should be "who" not "whom"?

Hello, Silverchalk, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

Yes, you are correct. The relative pronoun is functioning as the subject of the clause complementing "believed" and should therefore be in subjective case.

silverchalk posted:

I think it would be whom if it said "whom she suspected of having an affair"

Yes, very good. In that case the relative pronoun would be functioning as the direct object of "suspected" and so would need to be in objective case.

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