Who’s vs. Whose Explained SO Well!

I’m a fan of the HBO show Big Love, a drama about a polygamist family trying to live a normal life in present-day Utah. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. If I know you, I’d be happy to lend you the DVDs!) Unfortunately, I don’t get HBO, so I missed the season premiere.

This morning, I decided to read the review anyway, since it’s been about a year since the season finale took place. I’d been dying to know what happened next!

Shirley Halperin wrote the review for EW.com. And Shirley Halperin is a goddess. In one swift, deft move, and probably without intention, she demonstrated the way to use the words “who’s” and “whose.”

Outed but Not Down
By Shirley Halperin

This creates the perfect opportunity for good old Nicki to step in, step up, and save the day. Which is what makes her such a fascinating character: Is she the sacrificial lamb or the one who brings the lamb to slaughter? From her back-and-forth bickering with Margene over who’s going shopping, who’s taking the kids to school, who’s making dinner, and whose turn it is to satisfy Bill later that night (okay, that last one didn’t happen on this particular show), it looks like she’s trying all angles, as usual.

Oh, that is beautiful.


Shirley Halperin, you are a deity, a mermaid, and one classy broad. If I ever meet you, I’d be glad to buy you a coffee.

One of my biggest gripes is when people mix up “who’s” and “whose.” I’m about to explain the rules regarding these words, but after Shirley Halperin’s stunning explanation, I barely need to go into depth. A short rundown is fine.

“Who’s” is the conjuction of “who is” or “who has.”

“Whose” refers to possession.


I don’t know whose legwarmers these are, but I’m throwing them in the trash on principle alone!

Mary didn’t want to speak with Carla, whose medication caused her to growl like a bear at the slightest hint of displeasure.

I don’t know who’s going to attend the date auction, but if I were sixteen again, I would bet on A.C. Slater so fast, it would make your head spin!

I beg you to tell me who’s been emptying the vodka bottle and refilling it with water; believe me, vodka alone does not freeze!

Learn it. Live it.

Shirley Halperin, I am so glad I clicked on that Big Love review this morning. I am very proud of your writing. If I may go out on a limb, I think that you may have inadvertently changed someone’s bad grammar habits for the better! You get a gold star.


One response to “Who’s vs. Whose Explained SO Well!

  1. “This morning, I decided to read the review anyway, since it’s been about a year since the season finale took place. I’d been dying to know what happened next!”

    Although this sentence is grammatically correct, any half-assed editor would scream about the word “since” being used twice within a single sentence. Let alone there being only five words in between them.

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