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Whose vs Who’s: What’s the Difference?

by Abdul Aziz Mondal

The easiest mix-up of English literature is Whose vs Who’s. However, both the words have “who,” and the two words are very different from each other. These words can easily be interchanged, and mix-up is very common. 

What are Homophones?
When two words sound the same, although they have different spellings and meanings, they are called homophones.
Other Examples of Homophones
A lot and Allot
To, Two and Too
Weather, Whether and Wether

Whose vs Who’s

  • Who’s is primarily a contraction, which means it’s conjoined of two words. The two words are: who +has or who + is. 
  • Both whose and who’s came from the ‘Who’ pronoun.
  • For eg. Who’s feeling sleepy?
  • Whose is practically a possessive pronoun. You usually use this when someone is asking what something belongs to. 
  • For eg. Whose shoes are these heels? 

What Does Whose Mean?

whose vs who's

Whose is a word that means something that belongs to someone or is associated with some other person or a thing. 

  • The cat, whose little paw prints are all over the kitchen slab. In the above mentioned example, the word which indicates the cat that has its paw prints associated with the kitchen slab paw prints. 
  • If you use whose on its own, then it doesn’t give out a lot of information. It doesn’t actually say who the speaker is talking about. 

How Do You Use Whose In A Sentence?

whose vs who's

Here are a few examples where the word whose is used in sentences. 

  • “I had no idea whose dog it was.”
  • “Whose cell phone has a signal here?”
  • “Whose idea was the best?”
  • “Can you tell me whose project was better?”
  • “Do you know whose birthday it is?”
  • “Don’t get caught up in whose fault it was.”

What Does Who Mean? 

whose vs who's

Now that we know what Whose is, it’s time to know what is Who’s. “Who’s” is basically a contraction, which technically is a mixture of two words. In the case of Who’s, the two words are Who + Is and Who + Has. 

Who is a pronoun that is joined with a verb like “is” or “has”; it is very different from the word Whose. The apostrophe separates or replaces a part of the verb has and is, like Who is and Who has. 

So to know whether the word is who is and who has, the context of the sentence is quite crucial. When you mean who’s, which is who is, the tense is present tense. On the other hand, who’s, which means who has, is present perfect tense. 

How Do You Use Who’s In A Sentence?

Here are a few examples of how you are going to use the word Who’s. 

  • “Have you heard who’s speaking at the convention?”
  • “Who’s hungry for pizza?”
  • “Who’s a good dog?”
  • “Everyone who’s anyone is at this party tonight.”
  • “Sally told me who’s going to the beach this summer.”

How To Remember The Difference Between Who’s vs. Whose? 

One of the easiest ways to remember whose vs. who’s examples and the different meanings is, Who’s is a contraction that has two phrases which are who has and who is. 

The sentences surely make grammatical correctness for those who have an apostrophe ‘s’, while those who do not have an apostrophe ‘s’. 

Example: Who’s planning on staying for dinner?

Correct: Who is planning on staying for dinner?

Incorrect: who’s planning on staying for dinner?

Who’s vs. Whose in a Sentence

Here are a few examples of Whose vs. Who’s in different sentences. 

  • “Who’s knocking on my door?”
  • “I don’t know whose keys these are, so I can’t return it.”
  • “Who’s stolen my keys?”
  • “Whose presentation did you watch?”
  • “I don’t know who’s doing that.”
  • “Mike, who’s invited me to Harry’s house for dinner, he’s a fantastic cook.”
  • “Whose car were you in?”
  • “She rode home in whose car?”
  • “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?”
  • “Whose line is it anyways?”

Wrapping Up!

Whose vs Who’s are both contractions that are used in sentences in different ways. The Whose vs Who’s are homophones, which means even though the words sound very similar, both the meanings and the spellings are different. 

If you find this article helpful in understanding the difference between who’s vs whose, then let me know in the comment section down below.

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