1. Sunset Sailor
    Offline

    Sunset Sailor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Who's or Whose?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sunset Sailor, Jan 15, 2009.

    I think I must be bass ackwards when it comes to this one... :p


    In the following sentences which would you use? Whose or Who's?

    _______ bike is on the sidewalk?

    I was speaking with Sarah, ________ the accountant.
     
  2. garmar69
    Offline

    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    26
    Whose means 'of which person'.

    Who's means 'who is' or 'who has'.

    Edit: Hey, welcome to the supporter group!
     
  3. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Yup, Garm is correct. Don't fret none, though. That little pair stumps me from time to time as well. I know where they go, but sometimes they just looks wrong.

    And, welcome!
     
  4. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    "Whose" is a possessive pronoun.

    "Who's" is the contraction of "Who is".
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    just remember that those contractions [words with an ' ] are really two words stuck together... so, when wondering which form to use, take the contraction apart, like gar did above, and you should easily see which version makes sense and which doesn't...
     
  6. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    10,108
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    True, but.... I understand where the momentary confusion can come into play. The 's, outside of the pronouns, indicates the possessive (genitive case) as well.
     
  7. garmar69
    Offline

    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    26
    This is why I never contract who is or who has. I feel it saves confusion even though the usage should be apparent if the sentence is constructed properly. Take the above example for reference:

    I was speaking with Sarah, who is the accountant.

    I was speaking with Sarah, who has the accountant.

    If this is contracted, it could mean one of two things. Could be identifying Sarah as the accountant, or that Sarah has the accountant. It's easier to say 'who is' or 'who has' imo.
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Whether who's means who is or who has is almost always very clear in context.

    I was speaking with Sarah, ________ the accountant.
    In this case, you could say who has, but you would never contract it. The who has contraction is almost always used as part of a verb phrase:

    Who's had measles as a child?
    Who's seen the latest Batman movie?

    So there's no need to shy away from the contraction. There's rarely, if ever, any ambiguity in its use.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto that...
     

Share This Page