Use the possessive pronoun "whose" when determining the owner (or relationship) of something:

  • Do you know whose books these are?
  • She’s the girl whose parents come from Ukraine. (whose parents = her parents)
  • We’re not sure whose things were left in the classroom.
  • The company is looking for someone whose experience and education match the job that’s available.
  • Whose jacket is this?
  • Whose ideas are those?

This video explains how the word "whose" is used in an adjective clause:


Don’t confuse the pronoun "whose" with the contraction, "who’s" (who is)

  • Who’s going to the movie with us?
  • Who’s in the classroom?
  • Who’s the teacher?

Do you understand the difference between "whose" and the contraction "who’s"? They sound exactly the same, but they are different words.


Try this exercise:

Directions: Choose between "whose" and "who’s" for each sentence or question.

write by hand Write your answers in your notebook!

1. ________ going to the concert? (who’s / whose)

2. ________ car is that? (who’s / whose)

3. Do you know _________ on TV right now? (who’s / whose)

4. The teacher takes attendance to check _________ in the classroom. (who’s / whose)

5. I don’t know __________ books those are.

The answers are below.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.


1. Who’s; 2. Whose; 3. who’s; 4. who’s; 5. whose

This page was first published on June 20, 2012. It was updated on February 22, 2016.