Whose painting is this?

Whose is this painting?

Is the second question grammatical? Do both questions focus on the same part of speech?

  • 1
    They are both OK. Syntactically, in the first "whose" is determiner to the noun "painting", while in the second it is a fused determiner-head. The stress can be on any of the words, depending on the intended meaning.
    – BillJ
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 13:49
  • 1
    For more information see: "whose apple is that" or "whose is that apple"
    – shim
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 5:55

1 Answer 1


Both forms are grammatical and have the same structure in terms of parts of speech. Your second ordering ("Whose is this painting?") is antiquated; you should use the first ordering ("Whose painting is this?") in modern speech and writing.

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