The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Student Learning
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Student Life > Student Learning > Grammar
Staff + Student Login

Key:

Hover over the grey underlined or bold words for pop-up notes.

~~~

*Asterisk = examples of errors or poor constructions*.

Student Learning: Grammar

Common vocabulary mistakes

Who's or whose

Because they sound the same in spoken English, whose and who's are words that often get confused in written English.

  1. 6.1  Whose:

    Whose is the possessive adjective, meaning it always has a sense of something belonging to something/someone.

Whose is that car in the driveway?

The officer whose duty it was to control the crowd had over-reacted.

I don't care whose idea it was, I just want that elephant off the property now!

  1. 6.2  Who's:

    Who's is a contraction of 'who is / who has' and that is all it can ever mean.

"Who's that walking on my bridge?" asked the troll.

I would like the student who's been in the country the longest to come forward.