Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Whose and Who’s

english wordsWhose vs Who’s

Both words are puns, and phonetically the same. That is, they sound exactly the same, but mean different things. ‘Whose’ basically means ‘of somebody’, or even ‘of something’. So if a football was lying between two rival club grounds, one could ask: ‘Whose is it?’. If a pen was lying between two people in a library, the same question can be asked.

‘Who’s’ is a short form of ‘who is’, like ‘can’t’ is short for ‘cannot’. Thus, the words sound totally different in meaning, but the short form of ‘who is’ sounds the same as ‘whose’.

Popular uses of the terms include the following ‘“ the name of a popular TV show called ‘Whose line is it anyway?’, and the popular phrase used to describe the famous and important people or groups, with ‘the who’s who’.

‘Who’s’ can be expected to be part of a question more often then ‘whose’, based on the general use of the words. For beginners in the English language, it might be difficult at first to spot which word is being used when spoken in a sentence, but over time you will automatically develop a sense of knowing which word is which without even thinking.

Let us use the words in a few sentences, as nothing explains English better than usage and sentence examples. ‘Who’s going to paint the fence?’, ‘Whose shoddy hands painted this fence?’, ‘Who’s responsible for this badly executed fence painting job?’. So you see, the same situation was phrased in different ways, and the appropriate word was used. In verbal language, since the sound of these two words is exactly the same, they will not be easily identifiable until you develop a keen understanding of the English language.

You can speak them without worrying about being right or wrong, but when you use them in written language, you will have to be very careful to use the correct word in the correct place.

Further, the difference between the two words is very clear as to the number of words. While ‘whose’ is one word, ‘who’s’ is actually two separate words – ‘who’ and ‘is’, combined to form the shorter, easier to use word. There are many such words in English whose definitions of usage are a bit vague; a most prominent example would be of ‘whom’, which is quite similar to whose, but completely different when it comes to the correct grammatical usage.


1) We must remember that they sound exactly same in speech, but are different in use.

2) You can learn the correct usages by talking and writing English over time.

3) ‘Whose’ is complete in itself, while ‘who’s’ is a shortened from.

4) Whose usually refers to something ‘of a person’, while ‘who’s’ usually refers to a person (in general use).

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