Who’s ownin’ who? Who’s vs. whose

Sometimes possession doesn’t require an apostrophe. Such is the case with these two often confused words.

Who’s is a contraction for who is, and less commonly who has. For example, Who’s bringing potato chips to the party?

Whose is the possessive form of who, showing that something belongs to who. To wit, Whose house is the party at? (You wouldn’t write Who is house is the party at?…)

While an apostrophe typically is used to show possession, of course it also can be used to show a contraction. The latter is the case with who’s. And while rare, sometimes possession is shown by changing the form of the word, as in whose.