The people of the village saw the dark chariot from Hell, whose tacks were made of iron and tortured the bridled horses with impunity.

I am not sure if a tack is part of the chariot. We could think it's part of the horse, so using whose with horse would make sense, but I am not sure if we can use it with chariot.

Is there any specific rules on when we can use "whose"?

2 Answers 2


As a relative pronoun, no, there aren't. Whose as a relative can mean of whom or of which: it is not restricted to people.

Whose as an interrogative is restricted to people.

If you show someone the cover of a book and ask "Whose cover is this?", people will think you are asking about the artist, or possible the author or owner, not about the book. But "He showed me a book whose cover was plain yellow" is fine.

  • 1
    There's no real alternative short of rephrasing to ...a book, the cover of which was yellow, or with a yellow cover, but I must admit I would often be tempted to do just that where the "subject referent" is far removed from the (literal or metaphoric) noun category whose members are all capable of owning / containing something else. Jan 29, 2019 at 18:41
  • Yeah, I don't really think a tack is part of a chariot. Jan 29, 2019 at 19:29

Question 1: The tack is the various harnesses, straps, etc that are used to harness a horse

A horse's tack includes: Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates. Wikipedia

Question 2: Use "whose" to start a relative clause or when you are asking a question

In your example, the relative clause "tacks were made of iron and tortured the bridled horses with impunity" needs the word "whose" to clarify what the clause is referring to.

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