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An English rock group known almost as much for destroying their instruments on stage as for the songs of guitarist Pete Townshend (b.1945). They had hits with songs such as ‘My Generation’ (1965) and recorded Townshend's rock opera Tommy in 1969.
1[interrogative pronoun] What or which person or people.‘who is that woman?’‘I wonder who that letter was from’
- ‘Mr Summers said it is hard to plan what the group will be doing as he does not know who will audition.’
- ‘No doubt when we arrive the press will be wondering who all these shiny new people are!’
- ‘It was just begging me to open it and find out who was sending me an anonymous letter.’
- ‘Becki wondered who had done it and whether they would let her do the same next year.’
- ‘I wonder who's going to turn first out of all those Conservatives involved?’
- ‘If you were a London cabbie, who would you most like to have in the back of your cab?’
- ‘Who believes in intelligence reports?’
- ‘You can listen to the bands, check the odds and see who you'd pick, and bet on them to win.’
- ‘As yet we haven't been given any clues as to who can support Hounsou in the lead role.’
2[relative pronoun] Used to introduce a clause giving further information about a person or people previously mentioned.‘Joan Fontaine plays the mouse who married the playboy’
- ‘A gun was held to a teenage girl's neck by a mugger who robbed her of her mobile phone.’
- ‘The rain was pouring in, and we had some friends with us who had brought some seafood.’
- ‘Bobbies on the beat have been told to keep an eye out for a killer who could be hiding in Southend.’
- ‘Kelly is a popular pupil who has been elected on to the school council by her peers.’
- ‘Another motorist who was filling his car said he had seen a young man jump in the car and speed off.’
- ‘I have been in contact with a wonderful band who are very keen to come to Pewsey and play.’
- ‘He would be in much the same position as the farmer who previously put his cows in the field.’
- ‘They are just a normal couple and their kids are just everyday kids who play in the street.’
- ‘The vouchers are sent to the group who can either use them in store or exchange them for cash.’
- ‘He takes me on a tour, and we pass several attractive women who all smile at him in a hopeful way.’
- ‘At home, I sit down to reply to all the boys and girls who leave letters for me in my postbox.’
- ‘John opened the door to be confronted by two youths who threw a blazing firework at him.’
- ‘David admits he's a floating voter who will make up his mind on how to vote nearer the time.’
- ‘Firefighters had to help a woman who was trapped in the car and a man stuck in the cab of one of the lorries.’
- ‘He ran the ball up the right wing and slipped it to Smith who had moved in to a central striking role.’
- ‘It is impossible to write an honest letter to somebody who may send it on to a third party.’
- ‘He was a good guy who kept me informed of what was going on with the other counselors.’
- ‘My thanks to my good friend Ken Hom who is a wonderful cook and a brilliant presenter.’
- ‘He passed my letter on to Inspector Read who hoped it would be the end of the matter.’
- ‘Hannah Start met one of the more seriously injured who is on the long road to recovery.’
- 2.1archaic The person that; whoever.‘who holds the sea, perforce doth hold the land’
- ‘Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.’
1 A continuing debate in English usage is the question of when to use who and when to use whom. According to formal grammar, who forms the subjective case and so should be used in subject position in a sentence, as in who decided this? The form whom, on the other hand, forms the objective case and so should be used in object position in a sentence, as in whom do you think we should support?; to whom do you wish to speak? Although there are some speakers who still use who and whom according to the rules of formal grammar as stated here, there are many more who rarely use whom at all; its use has retreated steadily and is now largely restricted to formal contexts. The normal practice in modern English is to use who instead of whom (and, where applicable, to put the preposition at the end of the sentence): who do you wish to speak to?; who do you think we should support? Such uses are today broadly accepted in standard English. 2 On the use of who and that in relative clauses see that
Old English hwā, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wie and German wer.
World Health Organization.
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