When to Use Who's or Whose

By eContent Pro on Apr 24, 2017

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.

When to Use Who's or Whose

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.


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.


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.

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About eContent Pro

Based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, eContent Pro offers high-quality end-to-end editorial and publishing services, ensuring seamless workflows through the eContent Pro Business Enterprise Management System (BEMS), fast turnaround times, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service. Since 1994, we have supported commercial publishers, university/library presses, organizations, and societies by streamlining their publishing workflow with innovative publishing solutions.

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