According to my book this sentence is correct:

The gallery for which I am preparing the exhibition will have to apply for a subsidy from the City council.

I am wondering whether this sentence that I have made is also correct:

The gallery for whose I am preparing the exhibition will have to apply for a subsidy from the City council.

This is the first time I have come across that form in a sentence. I'd appreciate it if you could help me with it, because I think that the first sentence seems not to be correct, as "for which" is not possessive form(?).

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  • The first version is fine, and your alternative is ungrammatical. The "possessive" aspect (or just any "close relationship", really) is embodied in the preposition for (on behalf of which). Note that "the gallery" could be expanded upon with other prepositions indicating relationships: The gallery to which I donate money will have to apply for a subsidy, for example. – FumbleFingers Aug 15 '16 at 17:15
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    Whose is completely wrong here - imagine the gallery for his I am preparing the exhibition… An easy way to distinguish this is that who -> he, whom -> him, whose -> his also don't confuse whose with who's -> he's – BladorthinTheGrey Aug 15 '16 at 22:11
  • There is, however, an interesting question being hinted at - whether non-human entities can be referred to as human using who - but perhaps this is for a different day… – BladorthinTheGrey Aug 15 '16 at 22:13
  • The first sentence is absolutely correct. The cases of pronouns in English are provided in every grammar book, as at this link. Which is an interrogative pronoun and is used correctly in your first sentence. Whose is the possessive case of who, and its use in the second sentence is nonsensical, since there is nothing for who to possess! – P. E. Dant Aug 16 '16 at 6:38
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    "Which" is a relative pronoun here (not an interrogative one) and is fine as complement of the preposition "for". Your second example is ungrammatical, since the relative determiner "whose" requires a following noun (cf. "The gallery for whose exhibition a subsidy was required"). – BillJ Aug 16 '16 at 8:40

The gallery for which I am preparing the exhibition will have to apply for a subsidy from the City council.

This sentence is correct. "For which" is used with objects like the gallery.

"For whose" would be used with people, e.g.:

This is the singer for whose appearance (the singer's appearance/his appearance) they were waiting. / This is the guy whose car (the guy's car/his car) was stolen yesterday.


for which is a relative pronoun that replaces objects, things, abstract nouns,... for whose is a relative pronoun that replaces people, or possessive pronouns that refers to people or animals. Gallery is unanimated, so whose is entirely incorrect.
However, whose sometimes can refer to inanimate antecedents. For example, The car whose color is red. It's unnatural to say The car which its color is red Here, it unnatural to say The gallery for whose i am preparing the exhibition, but you can say: the gallery whose beginning will be next week.

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