Which one is correct in this case?

  1. I need to hear both sides of the story to know who's side I'm on.

  2. I need to hear both sides of the story to know whose side I'm on.

I have seen both versions on the Internet but not sure which one is correct. First example: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwzA-bJWwAEdQhR.jpg:large Second example: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/whose-side-im-on/id252435454

  • The title asks about two incorrect options: “whose’s” with an apostrophe-s is no more correct here than “who’s”. – sumelic Jan 14 '19 at 1:49

Who's is the contraction of who is. It follows the same pattern as it's being a contraction of it is.

Therefore, the first sentence actually says:

✘ I need to hear both sides of the story to know who is side I'm on.

That doesn't make any sense. Nor would:

It is door is broken.

Whose is the possessive of who, just as its is the possessive of it.

So, this is the correct version of the sentence:

✔ I need to hear both sides of the story to know whose side I'm on.

Just as this is correct:

Its door is broken.

Updated: As noted in a comment, who's can also be a contraction for who has. However, that would also make the sentence incorrect, since who has side I'm on is just as wrong as who is side I'm on.

  • 1
    Who's can also be a contraction of Who has. Who's done this? – Ronald Sole Jan 13 '19 at 18:39
  • @RonaldSole Good point. – Jason Bassford Jan 13 '19 at 18:44
  • I shouldn't have asked this question but some people have thousands of followers and nobody corrected the error though – Carlos Florian Jan 14 '19 at 8:20

Not everything on the internet is good English. Your first linked example appears to be a "tweet" or some other kind of social media post, by some unknown person. as Jeff Morrow says, writing who's is a gross error when in a question about possession. Your second link is to an iTunes page about a music album, the title of which uses the correct form, whose.

Who's vs whose (Grammarly)
Who's vs whose (Oxford)



is the writing of the uneducated or the careless. Of course, Twitter is not known for inducing careful attention to detail and niceties. And someone who calls herself "Gold E Locks," a play on the name of a character in a story for very young children, and is telling a joke is undoubtedly not expecting to be mined for hints on accurate spelling. (Actually, Ms. Locks's joke is not bad at all, but I'd avoid her in the future for guidance in correct English.)

EDIT: English has possesive pronouns like "his," meaning "belonging or pertaining to him." Notice that we do not write "his" as "he's. Possesive pronouns do not have apostrophes. The possessive with respect to "who" is "whose" without an apostrophe, just like all possesive pronouns.

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