By request: Who’s verses Whose

It never occurred to me to do an article on Who’s verses whose, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with it.  I can see how this could be confusing, however.

I will try to make this as simple as possible.

Who’s” is kind of like “it’s”.   It is a contraction of two words.

Who is going to the store?

Who’s going to the store?

Whose is the possessive form of “Who”.

Who does this book belong to?

Whose book is this?

I believe the problem that may cause confusion is that sneaky little apostrophe.  In most cases apostrophe with an “S” denotes a possessive.  That is not true for “who”, or for “it”.

It’s just another one of those wonderful little rules that make the English language so much fun!

Hope this helps!


11 responses to “By request: Who’s verses Whose

  1. Thanks Jen, another gem. 🙂

  2. I really like the way you present simple, clear examples for these lessons!

  3. This is the kind of stuff that wakes me up at night. (My internal editor only works the graveyard shift 😉 ) I’ll wake up thinking “… OMG! … I wrote ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ in yesterday’s post!” 😀

  4. Donna B. McNicol [@donnabmcnicol]

    Thanks so much, I knew what to do once I really thought about it. Just easy to forget. LOL!

  5. You know, I probably do it and don’t even realize it. Thanks for alerting me to a potential pitfall.

  6. Thank you! It was totally the apostrophe that got me.
    Love, the requester

  7. Great post Jennifer – thanks for including a link to my post