When to Use Who's or Whose

By eContent Pro on Apr 24, 2017
When to Use Who's or Whose

Who’s and whose are two words that are easy to get confused, as they are pronounced the same when speaking. These words have two completely different meanings, which we will look at in this post.

What Does Who's Mean?

Who’s is a contraction of who is or who has. A way to test that you have used this correctly is to substitute these phrases into your sentence. We will look at some examples below.

Sentence: Who’s driving?
Test: Who is driving?

We can see that in our test sentence above, who is can be inserted for who’s without causing any problems, so we have used the correct form of this word.

Sentence: Who’s been there before?
Test: Who has been there before?

Again, our test sentence still makes sense once we substitute the extended version of the contraction into it, so we can tell that we have used the correct word.

Sentence: Who’s house is the party at?
Test: Who is house is the party at?

In this example, we can see that our second sentence no longer makes sense once we substitute who is in place of who’s, so we can tell that whose would be the correct choice for this sentence.

What Does Whose Mean?

Whose is the possessive form of the pronoun who. It shows the person that an item belongs to or is associated with. You would use whose in all cases where who’s is not correct. We will look at some examples of this below.

Examples:

Whose dog is this?
Whose house are we going to?
Whose car are we taking?

In these sentences above, we can test that we have used the correct version of whose by substituting who is in the sentences. If the sentences do not make sense once we make the substitution, we know that we have used the correct form of whose. We will look at this test below.

Test:

Who is dog is this?
Who is house are we going to?
Who is car are we taking?

We can see that once we made our substitution to test the accuracy of our choice for whose, the sentences no longer made sense, which tells us that whose is the correct choice.

Final Thoughts on Using Who's or Whose

Using the incorrect form of who’s or whose is an easy mistake to make when writing. By remembering our tips, you will be able to ensure that you are using the correct form of these words every time. If you are still confused, let us help you with our copy editing and proofreading services. eContent Pro has professionally trained copy editors who will review your document for correct word usage, as well as a multitude of other writing problems.

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