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Is it considered correct to use 'whose' in a phrase such as the following:

The building whose front door is painted red.

I would have been more inclined to write:

The building of which the front door is painted red.

or

The building, the front door of which is painted red.

(OK there are less cumbersome ways of expressing this example anyway, but you can see why I'm asking.)

My view is based on the theory that "whose" really ought to refer to a person rather than an inanimate object. However, in the absence of an equivalent word based on "which", using the "whose" construction seems to be generally regarded as an acceptable and more convenient alternative. It's certainly more convenient!
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Hi,

Generally speaking, you can say it either way. 'Whose' for things is common and correct.

Best wishes, Clive
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AnonymousYes, originally "whose" applied only to persons, but times are changing. Even though "to which"is a bit clumsy, I still prefer for innate objects it to distinguish it from living beings.brgds/Gilad

It's too bad English doesn't have the equivalent of French dont, which would solve our problem.
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AnonymousIs it considered correct to use 'whose' in a phrase such as the following:

The building whose front door is painted red.

I would have been more inclined to write:

The building of which the front door is painted red.

or

The building, the front door of which is painted red.

(OK there are less cumbersome ways of expressing this example anyway, but you can see why I'm asking.)

My view is based on the theory that "whose" really ought to refer to a person rather than an inanimate object. However, in the absence of an equivalent word based on "which", using the "whose" construction seems to be generally regarded as an acceptable and more convenient alternative. It's certainly more convenient!

In addition to CLive's explanation, this may also be helpful....

whose. You can use whose as a possessive to refer to both animate and inanimate nouns. Thus you can say Crick, whose theories still influence work in laboratories around the world or Crick’s theories, whose influence continues to be felt in laboratories around the world. With inanimate nouns you can also use of which as an alternative, as in Crick’s theories, the influence of which continues to be felt in laboratories around the world. But as this example demonstrates, substituting of which for whose is sometimes cumbersome.
Yes, originally "whose" applied only to persons, but times are changing. Even though "to which"

is a bit clumsy, I still prefer for innate objects it to distinguish it from living beings.

brgds/Gilad
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 Philip's reply was promoted to an answer.