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Yes, "who" is the object of "from," so the correct version of your sentence should have "whom."

To prove that, you could move "from" to the beginning of the clause and have "The man from whom I bought the car is friendly." But it would sound very formal. For many, even incorrect nowadays.

It used to be the normal, natural way, though, not to separate pronouns from prepositions, but it has changed over the years.

But it is still changing and more and more academics consider "who" as the correct choice, rather than "whom."

But I'm not an expert here, let's wait for other answers to come along.

Hi, Ahmed and Lucas,

@Ahmed towab posted:

I came across this sentence in a reference book ,but I don't remember its name.

The man ( who - whom) I bought the car from is friendly.

Model answer is : who.      But what about ( whom)

My explanation is that(  whom ) is not an object pronoun in this context. What do you think of it?

Here, the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, which gives us the following possibilities:

1.The man from whom I bought the car is friendly. (Very formal)

2. The man whom I bought the car from is friendly. (formal)

3. The man who I bought the car from is friendly. (informal)

4. The man that I bought the car from is friendly. (informal)

5. The man I bought the car from is friendly. (The best form in informal style).

Now, why is the model answer 'who'? Michael Swan, 3rd edition, page '435' gives us the answer. He says "When a relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, the preposition also often goes at the end of the clause, especially in informal usage. Because 'whom' is unusual in an informal style, it is very rare in clauses that end with prepositions."

@Ahmed towab posted:

I came across this sentence in a reference book ,but I don't remember its name.

The man ( who - whom) I bought the car from is friendly.

Model answer is : who.      But what about ( whom)

My explanation is that(  whom ) is not an object pronoun in this context. What do you think of it?

Are the model answers in this reference book based on syntactic correctness or on what native speakers would commonly say in conversation and informal writing? From the former standpoint, only "whom" is correct (for the reasons that Lucas and Ahmed_btm have given).

To see why an object pronoun is needed from a syntactic standpoint, observe that it is grammatical to say, I bought the car from him, but ungrammatical to say, *I bought the car from he. Nevertheless, where stranded prepositions are involved, native speakers disregard syntactic correctness all the time.

If you want formal correctness, use "whom." If you want to say something that no one except people like me, who are acutely sensitive to grammatical choices (not because I am genetically predisposed to such sensitivity, but because grammatical analysis is practically a lifestyle for me) will notice, use "who."

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