WHO’S vs. WHOSE (with a little IT’S vs. ITS thrown in)

When I am asked what is the most prevalent mistake I see, I don’t have to stop and think about it: without doubt, it is ITS vs. IT’S. If you can’t substitute IT IS or IT HAS, you want the possessive ITS (as in “The kitten took its first steps today”).

You should apply the same test to WHOSE and WHO’S: if you can’t substitute WHO IS or WHO HAS, you need the possessive WHOSE.

Test yourself:

1.     Papa Bear roared, “WHOSE/WHO’S been sitting in my chair?”

2.     Priority seating will be given to those WHO’S/WHOSE applications were received first.

3.     I would like to know WHOSE/WHO’S read a good book recently.

4.     My Aunt Irene is a person WHO’S/WHOSE advice I value.

5.     ITS/IT’S been humid on the East Coast recently.

6.     The Yorkshire terrier yanked IT’S/ITS leash out of IT’S/ITS owner’s hand and ran to the neighbors’ house.

 

How did you do? Was this difficult for you? In each sentence, the correct answer is the second option.

 

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Filed under All things having to do with the English language

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