Language tip of the week: who, who’s and whose

Posted by on December 20, 2011

In this weekly microblog, we bring to English language learners more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult.

This week’s language tip helps with the word who.

Don’t confuse who’s (the short form of ‘who is’ or ‘who has’) with whose (the possessive form of ‘who’, meaning ‘of whom’ or ‘of which’):
Who’s view of the facts are we getting through television?
Whose view of the facts are we getting through television?
✗ …an international organization who’s role is to keep peace and stability.
✓ …an international organization whose role is to keep peace and stability.
The short form who’s (‘who is’ or ‘who has’) is used mainly in spoken English and informal writing:
Who’s going to do that?’ ‘You, of course.’
Who’s been using my computer?

More language tips

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Comments (1)
  • I find your tips very useful as a reminder to teach them to my students. Although as a teacher I already know these cases, it is excellent to have them listed with clear examples containing the wrong use and the correct ones.
    T would welcome tips using “should” and “to suggest”, which students very frequently misuse.
    Thanks in advance,
    best regards,
    Silvia Jaitin

    Posted by Silvia Jaitin on 2nd August, 2013
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