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!
- Note 332 – The posessive pronoun “theirs” has no apostrophe (mywritingnotebook.com)
- The Sneaky and Dangerous Wiles of the Dreaded Apostrophe (jimmyscoundrel.wordpress.com)
- Overcoming apostrophe catastrophes (wordsmithsuk.wordpress.com)
- Creative Lesson Ideas: Apostrophe Cartoons (enoughofthecattalk.com)
- Justify your apostrophes (nitpickersnook.com)
- it’s or its? (blackfirsmrkaler.wordpress.com)
- Grammatical Insanity (anomalousthoughts.wordpress.com)