Whose vs. who’s! Who’s the one whose sentence had who’s instead of whose? Sounds confusing, right? These two words can easily be mixed up for quite a few reasons: their pronunciation, their form and their use (in a way). But when is the right time to use each one? That’s what you’ll find out after reading the next few paragraphs.
Whose vs. Who’s
To clear up the mystery we first have to know what each word means. Whose can be either an adjective or a pronoun “of or relating to whom or which especially as possessor or possessors”. Basically, whose shows possession. Who’s is a contraction of the word who and either the word is or has. The confusion between whose vs. who’s stems from the fact that we usually use ‘s to show possession, which makes us think that who’s would be the right choice when it isn’t. It’s just the same as with its versus it’s.
When to Use Whose
As I said before, whose is used to show possession, so naturally, you would use it to talk about the man whose car is not working or to ask whose pencil was that.
For questions, if your answer will be his, hers, or theirs, then you should have whose as your first word.
- I know someone whose cat is missing.
- Whose cat is missing?
- My neighbor’s. You know, the one whose wife left him.
When to Use Who’s
Who’s is a contraction. In simple terms, who’s = who + is or who’s = who + has. It is not used in any other context, even if it is tempting to use it when talking about possession. You use it when you don’t want to say or type the whole thing, when you are talking fast, or in an informal context.
- I know a guy who’s in need of a ladder, can you help him out?
- Who’s got time for all this writing?
- Who’s gonna come to the concert with me tonight?
- Are you the one who’s been singing all day long?
Differences between Whose vs. Who’s | Tips
The best way to remember the difference between who’s vs. whose is to remember their usage. Even easier, you only have to remember the usage of who’s: who’s is a contraction between two words. With that in mind, any time you want to use who’s and you are not sure if it’s the right word, just replace it with who is or who has and see if it makes any sense.
Example: “Who’s keys are those?” becomes “Who is keys are those?” or “Who has keys are those?”, which makes no sense, so the right word, in this case, would be whose.
“Who’s up for some nachos?” becomes “Who is up for some nachos?” This is the correct word, so it makes sense.
You could also remember a modified version of the first sentence of this article: Who’s the one whose keys I found? Remember this sentence and keep in mind that the words go from shortest to longest (whose vs who’s, not all the words) and you’re good to go. Personally, I find the first method to be the easiest one to remember.
Whose vs. Who’s Examples
- Whose keys are on the kitchen counter?
- I saw a man shouting at a driver whose car was blocking the street.
- She’s the student whose handwriting is the best in my class.
- Whose books are these?
- Whose is this bag?
- I despise anyone who’s cruel to animals.
- Who’s the woman in the black hat?
- Who’s the governor of this country?
- The man who’s just walked out is Tom.
- He is a writer who’s often been criticized by the press but never before with such vitriol.
How to Use Who’s vs. Whose | Image
Whose vs. Who’s: What’s the Difference between Whose vs. Who’s