Sunday, September 20, 2009

Whose blog is this, anyway?

Words If you enjoy words and word usage, it is your blog! Lori, Guido, and I may be the ones posting, but we share a love of language and have a mutual interest in a continued effort to improve and learn, and have some fun along the way.

My topic today is reflected in the title of this entry: who's vs. whose.

The apostrophe has been the topic here twice before: here and here. It's always worth repeating, because a misplaced apostrophe can change a well-intentioned phrase to nonsense.

Who's is a contraction of who is or who has. An appropriate use would be "Who's got the football?" or "Who's going with me to the football game?"

Whose is the possessive of who, and is used to show...well, possession. "Whose football is this?" or "Whose house are we watching the football game at?" (You could also say "At whose house are we watching the football game?" but that sounds a little stilted.)

As with other contractions, a good way to remember which is correct is to expand the contraction. In the first case, "Who has got the football?" makes sense. In the second case, "Who is football is this?" makes no sense whatsoever.

As for the score...who's counting?


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think the possesive explanation makes the case for me.

Joann said...

Very good entry!! I know the difference, but still use the wrong one sometimes... I don't think fast enough!! LOL!!

Joann said...

Did you ever do an entry about the use of 'should of' instead of 'should've'??? That's one that I notice very often.

Big Mark 243 said...

I have decided to write around grammar dilemmas like the one's mentioned. I know that there are enough errors in the rest of my writings without adding to them!

Lori said...

This is something I've been working on with Eler Beth recently. She was having trouble with its and it's.