Inanimate whose

Inanimate whose:

The inanimate whose refers to the use in English of the relative pronoun whose with non-personal antecedents, as in: “That’s the car whose alarm keeps waking us up at night.” The construction is also known as the whose inanimate, non-personal whose, and neuter whose.

The use of the inanimate whose dates from the 15th century, but since the 18th century has drawn criticism from those who consider whose to be the genitive (possessive) only of the relative pronoun who and therefore believe it should be restricted to personal antecedents. Critics of inanimate whose prefer constructions such as those using of which the, which others find clumsy or overly formal.

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