Who’s vs. Whose
That camera is not mine; I’m not sure who’s it is.
Don’t you just love homophones … there, their, they’re … to, too, two … and, in this case, who’s and whose. It can be confusing. To be quite honest, who’s and whose always make me stop and think.
While an apostrophe followed by an “s” can signify possession (as in Kramer’s hair and Newman’s sneer), the apostrophe followed by an “s” in who’s signifies the contraction who is. Example:
My uncle Jacob, who’s also my mentor, came to dinner last night.
The possessive of the word who is whose. Consequently, in the camera sentence above, the correct word is whose.
Keep in mind, the word who’s always means who is. No exceptions. One way to remember the difference between who’s and whose is to view the apostrophe as a tiny, little “i”—whois or who is.
Got it? Who’s with me?
Check out more writing tips below…
Search Tips by Topic
- Capitalization: Eponyms
- Comma – Restrictive/Nonrestrictive
- Compare to/with
- Could care less
- Daylight saving time
- Due to
- Every Day/Everyday
- Guess what/I wonder
- Hear hear
- Home/Hone in on
- I wonder/Guess what
Professional Style Monthly Subscription
Sign up to get Professional Style delivered straight to your inbox every month. It’s FREE, and you can’t beat FREE!