🏁 Who’s is usually short for who is. Whose refers to something that belongs to someone.
🎯 💻 Want to try some tests?
🚦 An easy way to work out which one you need out of these two is to say ‘who is’ as a two word test where you think you need it and see if it fits in. If it does, then it’s who’s that you need. If it’s anything to do with belonging, then whose is the word you’re looking for. Here are some examples:
Who’s coming to the cinema tonight?
I don’t know who’s going to pass their driving test today.
I wonder who’s going to be lucky in the lottery at the weekend.
You’ll notice that all these verbs are in the present tense.
However, who’s can also be the short form for who has, and in this case the who is two word test won’t work and you have to use who has instead:
Who’s eaten all the sweets?
I don’t know who’s worked the hardest.
Can you tell me who’s done this?
You’ll see that all these sentences are in the past tense, because the has part is joining up with a special past tense of another verb.
To use whose, we need to think about asking a question involving who owns something:
Whose car is parked outside?
Whose going to be first to swim in the sea then?
We can also use whose in a way that doesn’t need a question but still involves something belonging to someone:
I don’t know whose keys these are.
If only someone could tell me whose book this is.
🎓Who and whose are both interrogative pronouns. The verb form that who has joins up with is called the past participle e.g. eaten, seen, been and so on, to form the present perfect tense. Has in this case is used as the auxiliary verb. Where whose isn’t used as an interrogative pronoun at the beginning of a sentence it’s usually used to join a relative clause to the main part of a sentence.