Whose VS Who’s: What’s The Difference?

whose vs whos

Share This Post

We all know there’s a big difference between “whose vs. who’s,” but do you know what that difference is? Most people use these words interchangeably, but there is a definite distinction between them. In this blog post, we’ll clear up the confusion and show you when to use each word. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

Whose VS Who's

What is the Difference Between Whose vs. Who’s?

In whose vs. who’s, whose is a possessive pronoun, like whose book is this, or whose turn is it? Who’s is a contraction of who + is, like who’s responsible for this mess? They look identical, but their meanings are quite different, which can obviously create confusion and embarrassment.

The best way to keep them straight is to remember that whose always has an ‘s’ on the end, because it’s a possessive pronoun (i.e., it shows ownership), and all possessive pronouns in English are spelled with an s. So if you can remember that little trick, you’ll never accidentally write who’s when you really mean whose again. Phew!

When Do You Use Whose and When Do You Use Who’s?

In comparing whose vs. who’s, whose is a possessive form of who, as in “The book was written by an author whose name I can’t

Examples of How to Use Whose vs Who’s Correctly

Whose is a possessive pronoun? It shows that something belongs to someone. That’s its job — to be a possessive pronoun. Who’s is a contraction of who is or who has. When you contract two words, you put an apostrophe in the place of the missing letter or letters. So in the case of whose vs. who’s, the apostrophe goes where the I is missing.

Who’s coming to the party? Could be either one: “Who is coming to the party?” Or: “Which person’s party are we talking about?” If you want to show possession, use whose.

  • If you want to create a question or a compound subject, use who’s. Correct: Whose book is this on the floor?
  • Incorrect: Who’s book is this on the floor? (This means “Who is book?” which doesn’t make sense.)
  • Correct: Of all the people here, whose song do you like the best?
  • Incorrect: Of all the people here, who’s song do you like the best? (Remember, who’s = who is.)
  • Correct: The cat whose tail was stepped on yowled in pain.
  • Incorrect: The cat who’s tail was stepped on yowled in pain. (Again, who’s = who is.)

Just remember in whose vs. who’s: if you can substitute he/she/it/they in your sentence, use who’s. Otherwise, use whose. Pronouns are tricky little devils, but don’t let them trip you up!


Whose is a possessive pronoun that shows ownership or possession. It is FAQs

When do I use whose and when do I use who’s?

Whose is used to indicate possession, while who’s is used to indicate a contraction of who is. For example, “whose book is this?” would be asking who the book belongs to, while “who’s going to the party?” is asking who is going to the party. In general, if you can replace the word with “who is,” you will use who’s.

Can I use who’s in place of whose all the time?

While who’s can be used as a stand-in for whose in some cases, it is not always appropriate. Who’s should only be used when it is acting as a contraction for “who is.” If you are asking about possession, you should use whose. For example, saying “Who’s pencil is this?” would technically be correct, but it would sound more natural to say “Whose pencil is this?”

What are some other examples of when to use each word?

  • Whose car is that?
  • Who’s going to the movies with me?
  • I don’t know who’s responsible for this mess.
  • Whose turn is it to take out the trash?
  • Who’s been eating my cookies?

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Typography and Punctuation Marks
Blog Content

Eight Uncommon Typography and Punctuation Marks

Typography and punctuation marks are the fundamental elements of written communication, shaping how we express meaning and emotion through text. While we are all familiar


drop us a line and keep in touch