Who’s and whose are pronounced the same but should not be spelt the same. They both have different functions which, once understood, should help with spelling and how they are used in a sentence.
Who’s and whose function the same way as it’s and its. One is a contraction and the other is a possessive.
The word who’s is a contraction. It is the contracted form of who is or who has.
Who’s looking after the children?
Did you see who’s driving that car?
The man who’s completed the task is Mr Abeokuta.
Who’s taken the new books?
The word whose is a possessive pronoun. It is the possessive form of the pronoun who and sometimes which. It means belonging to or associated with a person.
Whose children are those?
Amy said she will keep whose secret?
I found the book, but I didn’t know whose it was.
The word whose can also be used for things that we wouldn’t use who to refer to such as inanimate objects.
For example, we wouldn’t say these:
- The chair who has a broken leg. → This is incorrect.
- The book who has a long title. → This is incorrect.
BUT we can say these:
- The table whose leg was broken. → This is correct.
- The book whose title is long. → This is correct.
Now, test yourself!
- Build 4 sentences using who’s correctly.
- Build 4 sentences using whose correctly.