In this article we’ll talk about who, which and whose. These are called relative pronouns. (Just so you know.)
The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
– Mark Twain
When to Use Who
You use “who” to refer (talk about) a person.
The man who is driving that old Ford is my uncle.
The man is a person.
When to Use Which
You use “which” to refer to an animal or a thing.
The city which you see in the picture is London.
The city is a thing, and not a person. So choose which.
When to Use Whose
You use “whose” to say that something or someone belongs to something or someone else.
Note: “whose” may refer to a person or a thing.
Here are some examples:
The movie, whose name I don’t remember now, was simply great.
(This is about the name of the movie, so I need whose.)
The actor, whose name I don’t remember now, was simply great.
(This is about the name of the actor.)
The following quiz is brought to your by Purrr-o-Noun Cat.
In this exercise you’re going to choose between which, who, and whose.
|1. He listened to his friend __________ mother had recently died.|
|2. My dentist, ____________ is a nice woman, lives just down the street.|
|3. He’s on the 4.04 train, ____________ has just pulled into the station.|
|4. Thanks for your email and the attached brochure, ____________ I’m still studying.|
|5. The team, ___________ captain is from Bulgaria, hasn’t lost a game this season.|
|6. That teenager ____________ helped me with my groceries became our babysitter.|
|7. Those fragrant white flowers, ____________ are the favourite of my aunt, are gardenias.|
|8. The neighbours, _____________ are usually quiet, were shouting yesterday evening.|
|9. The wind, ___________ was blowing around the house at night, brought a lot of dust inside.|
|10. The painter, ___________ light brush stroke is instantly recognisable, is most famous for his landscapes.|
|11. When will you bring me back the map ____________ I lent you last month?|
Note: There is a difference between that and which. Read more about this here.