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Whose vs. Who's: Common Grammar Mistake


Whose vs. Who's

Mixing up "whose" and "who's" is a common grammar mistake. People tend to believe any word with a contraction, such as "who's," is a possessive form. In fact, "whose" is the possessive form, while "who's" is a contraction for "who is" or "who has."

  • Whose – Possessive pronoun. Use when asking or telling whom something belongs to. (ex. Whose phone is this?)
  • Who's – Contraction for "who is" or "who has." (ex. Who's that?)

Use the resources and examples here to help you sort out the differences between the two words and when to use them. Then, take the grammar quiz at the end of this article to see if you have mastered the use of "who's" and "whose" in sentences.

The Differences Between Whose and Who's



Possessive of "who"

Whose iced tea is this?


"who is" or "who has"

Who's the best golfer ever?

Examples of Whose in a Sentence

Use the following examples of "whose" in a sentence to gain a better understanding of when to use this word. Remember, "whose" is the possessive of "who."

  • "Whose drink is this?"
  • "There's the story about the guy whose wife stabbed him for life insurance money."
  • "Whose guitar is named Lucille?"
  • "Bart Simpson is the cartoon character whose dad's name is Homer."
  • "You have a patient in the waiting room whose arm is broken."
  • "Whose horrible example of grammar is this?"

Examples of Who's in a Sentence

Use the following examples of "who's" in a sentence to gain a better understanding of when to use this word. Remember, "who's" is a contraction for "who is" or "who has."

  • "This is my brother, who's an accountant."
  • "Who's the best three point shooter on the team?"
  • "Who's the president of the United States?"
  • "You should check out my mechanic, who's really cheap and honest."
  • "Who's been eating all the cookies out of the cookie jar?"
  • "Who's not done with his or her assignments?"

Take the Grammar Quiz

Below you will find a quiz that tests your knowledge of the words "who's" and "whose." Retake the grammar quiz until you are sure you understand when and how to use these words.

Who's and Whose Online Grammar Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Fill in the correct version: "________ icecream is this?
    • Whose
    • Who's
  2. This is correct: "I know a guy who's a friend of Kevin Bacon."
    • True
    • False
  3. "________ the greatest NBA player of all time?"
    • Whose
    • Who's
  4. "_______ the soccer player _______ number is 38?"
    • Whose, Who's
    • Who's, Whose
  5. This is correct: "I want to know who's idea it was to go to the museum on Saturday."
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. Whose
  2. True
  3. Who's
  4. Who's, Whose
  5. False

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Your score is extremely low. You might want to read over the article again.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: Your score is low. You might want to read the article and try again.

If you got 4 correct answers: Your score is o.k. However, you might want to check your answers and try again.

If you got 5 correct answers: Your score is great. Teach other people whose grammar usage is not as good as yours.

© 2010 music love


music love (author) from United States on September 22, 2013:


Either of these is correct:

Who is the girl?


Who's the girl?

maricar on September 06, 2013:

what is correct? please spare me answer.

whose the girl? or who is the girl?

answer is very much appreciated.

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on July 23, 2013:

This is a subject I haven't covered in my Grammar Hub. I'd like to provide my readers more information and provide you with more traffic. May I use this webpage link on my site?

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on April 26, 2012:

Great hub. Voted up and useful. I am excited that I got 100% on your quiz. If it had been other easily confused words, I might not have fared so well! :)

grammarguide from Bangkok, Thailand on April 18, 2012:

Many of my Thai students actually commit exactly this mistake rather often. They forget that whose is actually the possessive form of who and that who’s actually means "who is" or "who has". Actually I'll use your post as a refresher in class. Thanks for reminding and sharing this!

lzlpio90 on September 09, 2011:

Nice hub.. i took your online quiz and got it all perfectly before actually reading your hub... I'm not a native english speaker yet, i love english grammar way back schools.

htodd from United States on May 21, 2011:

Great post

astigpinoy16 from Philippines on January 29, 2011:

good hub, sometimes i mistakenly use these two words. thanks

RocketCityWriter from Alabama on November 22, 2010:

Nice hub! Found while hopping and it's so funny because I was just looking this up the other day. Thanks!

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