Difference Between Whose and Who’s

Whose vs Who’s

Words whose and who’s confuse many students of English language because of the fact that they sound identical. However, these words have totally different usage in English and not knowing how to use them correctly can cause embarrassment for the students. Both whose and who’s are words that are used in place of pronouns who and whom. Who belongs to the family of pronouns I, we, he, she, it and they. This gives a clue as to which of the two words whose and who’s is to be used in a sentence. Let us take a closer look at the two confusing words whose and who’s.


Whose is a word that is used to indicate the person who is being talked about in the sentence. If I am asking whose pen is this, I am interested in knowing who the person who owns the pen is. Whose describes the belongingness of a person and is the possessive form of who. Thus, whose becomes an interrogative pronoun when belongingness is being searched or asked.


Who’s is the shortened form of who is or who has. When you ask your friend who’s that girl in red dress, you are obviously asking who that girl is in red dress. The same is true when you enquire about the actor in a movie. Take a look at the following examples.

• Who’s the lead actor in the movie?

• Who’s the Prime Minister of this country?

In the above two sentences, who’s is used as the shortened form who is.

Similarly, who’s is also used to enquire about the possession of something.

• Who’s got the keys of the apartment?

• Who’s been asked to perform the duty?

In the above two sentences, who’s is used as the shortened form who has.

What is the difference between Whose and Who’s?

• Whose is an interrogative pronoun that is used when one is asking about the belongingness of something in a sentence.

• Who’s is an abbreviated form of who is or who has.

• Whose is a possessive form of who.

• Whose is a single word whereas who’s is a contraction of two words who and is or has.