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whose, who's

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Whose is the possessive form of the pronoun who. Many think that whose can refer only to people or living things, but savvy writers use it all the time to show possession by an inanimate object or abstraction. The technique avoids an awkward of which construction. Thus:

The legislators voted against the statute the purpose of which was to raise taxes.


The legislators voted against the statute whose purpose was to raise taxes.

Who’s is the contraction for the words who is. In formal writing, it is perfectly acceptable to use contractions.

Example: I don’t know whose shirt this is or who’s responsible for finding the owner.

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