English Grammar Basic Similar words

The difference between “who is” and “whose”

The difference between“Who“y“Whose“

“Who’s“y“whose“they are easy to confuse because they sound identical (that is, they are perfect homonyms). However, their meanings are very different.

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Who’s.“Who“is shorthand for who is or who has.

  • Who’s going to the party? ✔️
    (Here,“who’s“expands to who is.)
  • Who’s taken my hat? ✔️
    (Here,“who’s“expands to who has.)

Whose.“Whose“tells us about the property. For example:

  • I know a man whose dog can say“sausages.“
    (“Whose“tells us that the man owns the dog.)
  • Whose hat is this?
    (Here,“whose“asks a question about ownership.)

More about“Who’s“and“Whose“


“Who“is a contraction of“Who“o“who has“. It has no other uses.

Example sentences with“who’s“:

  • Who’s coming to fix the bed? ✔️
    (“who is“)
  • Who’s eaten the last muffin? ✔️
    (“who has“)
  • I met the inspector who’s delivering tomorrow’s briefing. ✔️
    (“who is“)

who’s =“who is“or“who has“

If you cannot replace the“Who“in your prayer with“Who“o“who has“, then it’s wrong!


“Whose“is the possessive form of“who“. Means“belonging to whom“.“Whose“it usually sits before a noun.

  • Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends. ✔️
    (“Whose“is before the noun“visit.““Whose“in this example is a relative pronoun.)
  • Whose bike was expensive? ✔️
    (“Whose“is before the noun“bike.““Whose“in this example is an interrogative determiner.)
  • Carl knows the girl whose phone was stolen. ✔️
    (“Whose“is before the noun“phone.““Whose“in this example is a relative pronoun.)

Even More about“Whose“

A lot is going on with“whose“.

In addition to being a relative pronoun,“whose“it is a determiner. You will see it listed with possessive determiners and with interrogative determiners. Here is a table with“whose“is used in each of these grammatical functions.

Examples as a Relative Pronoun

  • I met the man whose son won the Judo competition.
  • Jack found a coin whose date was 5 BC. How did they know it was BC?
    (“Whose“can be used with inanimate things too, not just people.)

Examples as a Possessive and an Interrogative Determiner

  • Whose coat is this?
  • I want to know whose coat this is.

NB:“Whose“it is unique among determiners because it is two kinds of determiners at the same time.

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