If you’ve never been confused between who’s and whose, then congrats – you don’t have to continue reading this post. Otherwise, read on!
From what I’ve seen, the only thing consistent about English language is its inconsistency. While this is also the case for any other language, it is especially true in English which goes by the motto – “nothing is true, everything is permitted”. Ha!
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I think I’ve partly handled this in my lesson on the mighty apostrophe, but you just cannot slap an apostrophe and an s (‘s) at the end of a word and pronounce it a possessive. Life just isn’t that easy. There is something called a Contraction, because we humans are inherently lazy and would rather say Who’s than Who is.
So then I suppose the word ‘Whose’ was coined just to circumvent this confusion in intent. I’m laying out the definitions once and for all –
Who’s –> Who is? or Who has? Example: Who’s hungry? Who’s fallen asleep?
Whose –> Possessive. Example: Whose slice of pizza is this??
There you go. Now you don’t have an excuse to mix these both up, do ya?