Whose?

edited November 2013 in - Writing Problems
When should one use "whose" and when "who's" ?

'This is Pete, who's coming with us." Correct?

"Whose is this coat?" Correct?

Or not? Can anyone give me a definitive rule please?

Comments

  • http://www.betterwritingskills.com/tip-w024.html

    That might help you.
  • This is one of the easy ones, who's is always 'who is' and whose is always when it can't possibly be 'who is'.
  • an apostrophe when a word is 'missing' i.e is, has

    What you have written is correct. who is coming with us - you've contracted it to who's coming with us = I think that's OK

    The coat thing: I would put - to whom does this coat belong? (whose is this coat - sounds a bit ungrammatical but can't explain why)
  • Whom if the answer is him. It belongs to him, so it's to whom.

    Sorry, working, so no time to elaborate.
  • I'd never use 'to whom' because it sounds archaic - no-one really uses it in that way. If I picked up a coat and shouted out 'whose is this' it would not sound strange. 'To whom does this coat belong?' - I'd rather leave the coat on the ground.
  • I wouldn't go so far as to correct someone's speech, but I do notice it and it grates a little.
  • It's the same as it's/its.

    It's = it is, who's = who is.

    its = belonging to it, whose = belonging to whom.
  • [quote=heather]It's the same as it's/its.[/quote]
    I understand it's and its.
    It's whose and who's that bugs me - and sometimes in dialogue one isn't as posh as to say "to whom"
    Think I've got it now thanks - the apostrophe stands for something missing,
  • You're using speech marks - what happens within them can be ungrammatical (although what you've written is fine) because we don't speak in perfectly grammatical form. We rarely use whom in easy dialogue - it's a rule, and it has its place, but if you want speech to sound right, it's going to bend the rules.
  • I would be unlikely to use 'to whom' in dialogue unless it suited the character of the person speaking.
  • Now if it was David Mitchell or Stephen Fry...
  • They'd both say 'Whose is this coat?'
  • Hyancinth Bucket?
    Jeeves?
  • Truly castigated - creeps away
  • [quote=Betsie]whose is this coat - sounds a bit ungrammatical but can't explain why[/quote]

    Nothing wrong with it, but if you're really unhappy you could change it to "Whose coat is this?".
  • [quote=Baggy Books]I wouldn't go so far as to correct someone's speech, but I do notice it and it grates a little.[/quote]

    I react that way to split infinitives, and to the misuse of 'me' and 'I'.
    Me and Joe went to the pub and the landlord gave him and I a free drink.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!
  • [quote=Lizy]Me and Joe went to the pub and the landlord gave him and I a free drink.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK![/quote]

    What's wrong with that? I'd have been well pleased to get a free drink.
  • [quote=Lizy]I react that way to split infinitives, and to the misuse of 'me' and 'I'.
    Me and Joe went to the pub and the landlord gave him and I a free drink.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! [/quote]

    I know - it grates, doesn't it? I don't like hearing it, but if it suited the character you could use it (though it would choke me!)

    I had the following in a book this week: 'Are one of those boats yours?'
    I want a red pen option on Kindle, and I want it now! One with a hotlink to the author - obviously non-returnable, though!
  • [quote=Lizy]I react that way to split infinitives[/quote]

    I| have no objection to split infinitives if used carefully. An artificial rule invented by a grammarian whose reasoning was "it's impossible to split an infinitive in Latin therefore you shouldn't do it in English".
  • I think whom would sound pretentious if used in everyday conversation.
  • [quote=Betsie]Truly castigated - creeps away[/quote] Lol! You can be right and also wrong. And wrong and also right. And nothing wrong with saying what it should be - I really like things to be right. But that whom thing always strikes me as madness - after all speech is communication, it should be concise, easy to understand and easy to say. There are occasions however when whom is right and sounds right...
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