Who’s or Whose?

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In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the difference between these two words – “whose” and “who’s”.

This is certainly a grammar mistake that even I’ve made–hey, we’re all humans! So that’s why I thought it’d be a good idea to write about it today.

When do we use “whose” and when do we use “who’s”?

“Who’s” is actually a contraction linking the words “who is” or “who has”.

Here are a few examples.

“Who’s going to the party this Saturday night?” This would be the same as “Who is going to the party this Saturday night?”

“Who’s been eating all the biscuits?”This would be the same as “Who has been eating all the biscuits?”

“I don’t know who’s going to be presenting today.”This would be the same as “I don’t know who is going to be presenting today.”

So the formula is :

who’s = who + is or who + has

Now, if the sentence wouldn’t sound right if it was broken into “who is” or “who has”, then the correct word is “whose”.

For example:

“Whose house are we going to for the party this Saturday?”It wouldn’t make sense to say “Who is house are we going to for the party this Saturday?”. So we use “whose”.

Or, “Whose biscuits have I been eating all day?”

Here’ s another example: “Whose presentation did you like the most?”

“Whose” is used in questions to ask who owns something or has something. It’s also used in sentences to show possession of something.

Now it’s your turn!

Try this exercise for yourself. Fill in the blanks below.

The answers are at the bottom of this post.

  1. ____________ side are you on anyway?
  2.  ____________ been making a mess in the kitchen?
  3. Even people ____________ first language is English have problems with grammar.
  4.  ____________ the best person for the job?

We’ll talk to you again soon!

Answers: 1. Whose; 2. Who’s (or Who has); 3: whose; 4. Who’s (or “Who is”)

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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