Who, whose and who’s – an English grammar lesson

In this video lesson we  compare the pronoun who with its possessive form, whose, and show examples in action. We look at:
– how to use who and whose in questions
– how to use who and whose in relative clauses
– the important difference between whose and who’s
To make most nouns possessive in English, we add apostrophe ‘s’. However the pronoun who is different because its possessive form is whose.
To check you’ve understood, we finish with a whose and who’s quiz.

Click here to see more grammar lessons.
In a future video we will be looking at the difference between who and whom.

Who, whose and who’s

Now settle down children. We’re going to do some grammar. Who threw this sock?
Jay did.
Vicki did.
Whose sock is this?
It belongs to him. miss.

Hi everyone. I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American. Today we’re looking at who, whose and who’s.
It’s pretty easy. You’re going to get this very quickly.
You just saw an example of who.

Who threw this sock?
Jay did.
Vicki did.

‘Who’ is a pronoun that we use to ask questions. It means ‘what person’.
You saw an example of ‘whose’ too.

Whose sock is this?
It belongs to him miss.

We use ‘whose’ to ask who something belongs to.
It could be a physical thing or something abstract.

This design is terrible. Whose idea was it?
Mine. Don’t you like it?
Oh. Whose turn is it to put the rubbish out?
Yours.

‘Whose’ is the possessive form of ‘who’ and we use it to ask who things belong to.
But we don’t just use these words in questions. We use them in relative clauses too.
What are relative clauses?
Don’t worry. We’ll show you.

Are you busy?
Uh huh.
I just I met a guy who’s looking for a job.
Uh huh.
Well, we need somebody who will answer the phones and make our coffee.
You mean an assistant?
Yes. We need somebody whose job it is to take care us.
I already have an assistant whose name is Jay and he doesn’t do any of those things.
I’ll get you some coffee.

We use relative clauses to give more information about something we’ve just mentioned. The relative clauses here all begin with ‘who’ or ‘whose’. Just like before, we use ‘who’ to talk about a person, and ‘whose’ to talk about possession.
And that’s how we use ‘who’ and ‘whose’.
It’s very straightforward.
Yes. But there’s a mistake my students sometimes make. They get ‘whose’ muddled up with the contraction for ‘who is’ and ‘who has’.
Oh yes. Native speakers sometimes do that too. Whose. Who’s. They sound the same.
Yes, so it doesn’t matter if you muddle them up if you’re speaking, but it IS a problem if you’re writing.
It’s confusing because the apostrophe ‘s’ can indicate a possessive form. Like this is Jay’s coffee.
No this is Vicki’s coffee. That’s yours. But it can be confusing.
To make most nouns possessive we add apostrophe ‘s’. But we don’t do that with ‘who’. The possessive form of who is whose.
If we write who’s with an apostrophe we’re writing the contraction of ‘who is’ or ‘who has. The apostrophe replaces the missing letters.
So have you got it?
Let’s have a quiz and you can check and see.
Good idea.

Do you know whose car this is?
Do you know whose car this is?
Who’s eaten all the cookies?
Who’s eaten all the cookies?
I found a dog in the road and I don’t know whose it is.
I found a dog in the road and I don’t know whose it is.
Who’s calling please?
Who’s calling please?
Whose job is it to clean your kitchen floor?
Whose job is it to clean your kitchen floor?
Whose idea was it to turn the heating down?
Whose idea was it to turn the heating down?
Who’s responsible for technical support?
Who’s responsible for technical support?
Anyone who’s been to Rio will tell you it’s beautiful.
Anyone who’s been to Rio will tell you it’s beautiful.
Never go to a doctor whose office plants are dying.
Never go to a doctor whose office plants are dying.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Spell.
Spell who.
W-H-O.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Spell.
Spell who.
W-H-O.

Did you get them all right? You can go back and look again if you didn’t.
Now there’s another form of who that we’ve been asked about.
Ah yes – whom. That’s a little trickier so we’re going to look at that in another video.
So make sure you’re subscribed to our channel so you can see it.
If you’ve enjoyed this video please share it with a friend.
And see you all next week everyone. Bye-bye.
Bye.

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