Whose or Who’s?

Whose or Who’s – these two words cause so much trouble for so many folks, I’d like to try and clarify and simplify which one to use each time.

Pay attention to who’s (who is) and it’s (it is) when used as possessive pronouns, and the use of whose:


1. “Whose briefcase is this?”

Note: you can’t use who’s in this example, because it would sound like Who is briefcase is this?”

2. “Do you remember whose turn it is to walk the dog?”

Note: you can’t use who’s in this example, because it would sound like “… who is turn is it?”

3. “Who’s [who is] going to put these shoes away??! Whose turn is it to tidy up this week?#!!

The example above shows both versions being used in the correct way – are you starting to understand a little bit more about when to use these?


1. The guy who’s [who is] buying the house is here.

* Note: you can’t use whose in this case, because you want to say “who is”, so use who’s

2. I know it’s [it is] you who’s going to do the shopping this week – it’s written up here on the notice board … but whose turn is it next week?


I know you’re probably thinking this is a pain to learn, but really, when it comes to grammar, punctuation, spelling and apostrophes, you need to be able to know when and where to use the different parts of speech. Whether you’re [you are] working or at home, your workmates or family will turn to you for help when they have trouble writing letters and reports. You’ll become known as the “smart” one in your team, and you can feel a great sense of satisfaction.

You may not know the answer to all their grammatical questions, but you can certainly find out quickly enough! Remember …

Who’s = Who is …? | Who was …? | Who has … ?

Whose = Who owns …?

Hope this lesson on whether to use Whose or Who’s has helped …

4 Responses to Whose or Who’s?

  1. Colleen Hamel says:

    Thank you, brings me back to elementary school when we dissected a sentence !

    • ApostropheQueen says:

      Hey Colleen, I’m glad you found this helpful 🙂

      I’m constantly amazed at what remains in our brains from our school days!


  2. Shelly says:

    Thank you this really helped!

    • ApostropheQueen says:

      Hey Shelly, it’s always nice to know I’ve helped someone — thanks so much for letting me know!

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