Difference between whose and who’s
Whose vs who’s:
The English language is chock full of words such as ‘who’s’ and ‘whose’ which sounds the same in pronunciation and yet have different meanings that are used in different contexts. These are two words which are often confused with each other owing to certain similarities that these two terms share. So what are the differences between ‘whose’ and ‘who’s’? Let us find out.
What is whose?
The term ‘whose’ is a possessive pronoun and it is also known as the possessive form of ‘who’. It is used to indicate ownership and bears the meaning of belonging to whom or to which. The term ‘whose’ is often seen to be sitting before a noun in a sentence. Observe the following examples.
Whose frock is that you are wearing?
I used to know the man whose body was found on the beach this morning.
In the above sentences, ‘whose’ is always used before a noun. ‘Whose’ as used here also indicates a sense of ownership as questioning the ownership of the frock. The second sentence indicates the ownership of the body which was found on the beach.
What is who’s?
‘Who’s’ is a contraction of either ‘who is’, ‘who was’ or ‘who has’. The apostrophe thus replaces the letters ‘I’, ‘ha’ or ‘wa’. Let us look at some examples.
Anyone who’s done yesterday’s homework can leave while the other must stay after class.
Who’s that person standing behind that door?
Who’s the man that started off as a singer, ended up as a millionaire?
In the first sentence, ‘who’s’ is utilized as a contraction of ‘who has’ whereas in the second sentence, ‘who’s’ is utilized as a shortened form of ‘who is’. In the third sentence, ‘who’s’ is utilized as an abbreviation of ‘who was’.
What is the difference between who’s and whose?
Learning a language other than one’s own mother tongue can prove to be quite a task. This task is made yet more complex by the presence of words such as ‘who’s’ and ‘whose’ which render the English language specially hard for beginners.
‘Who’s’ is the contracted form of ‘who is’, ‘who has’ and ‘who was’ whereas ‘whose’ is a possessive pronoun. Possessive pronouns indicate ownership whereas ‘who’s’ does not indicate ownership. It is a popular belief that the combination of an apostrophe and a “s” indicates ownership but in the case of ‘who’s’ this is not relevant. It is a commonly known fact that possessive pronouns in particular, do not include any apostrophes, therefore, ‘whose’ does not require an apostrophe “S” to indicate its meaning whereas ‘who’s’ requires an apostrophe “s” to serve its purpose. The possessive form of ‘who’ is ‘whose’. One cannot employ ‘who’s’ to replace that. Observe the following examples for better clarification.
This is the man whose house got robbed yesterday.
This is the person who’s won the lottery last week.
In the first sentence, ‘whose’ is employed to indicate the ownership of the house. In the second example, ‘who’s’ is merely a contraction of ‘who has’ and does not indicate ownership.
The word ‘whose’ is often employed before a noun whereas ‘who’s’ is always employed before a verb. Look at the above examples for clarification. In the first sentence ‘whose’ is used before ‘house’ which is a noun. In the second example, ‘who’s’ is used before ‘won’ which is a verb.
While both ‘whose’ and ‘who’s’ are often used in questions, the form ‘who’s’ is more often used in questions than ‘whose’. This may be because ‘who’ is a part of the five ‘W’ questions that exists in the English language.
‘Whose’ is clearly one word whereas ‘who’s’ is definitely two words as it is the abbreviation of either ‘who is’, ‘who has’ or ‘who was’. Sentences written using ‘who’s can be rewritten using the proper forms whereas sentences using ‘whose’ cannot be rewritten in another way.
Who’s going to wash the car?
Who is going to wash the car.
Who’s eaten my muffin?
Who has eaten my muffin.
This is the girl who’s standing near the bridge last Saturday night.
This is the girl who was standing near the bridge last Saturday night.