I came across the following sentence:

Kiran is Kishore's uncle, whose paternal grandfather has only two children.

I am not clear which person whose is referring to - Kiran or Kishore and why?

  • 2
    Always the most recent one, by default. Which in this case is uncle. In order for it to modify Kishore, it would have to be "Kishore, whose paternal grandfather" or some such, not "Kishore's uncle, whose...".
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 7, 2013 at 10:35
  • You may find English Language Learners more useful for answering basic English language questions such as this.
    – TrevorD
    Oct 7, 2013 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


It refers to Kishore's uncle (last mentioned before the comma), who is precisely Kiran.

In "Kiran is a friend of Kishore's uncle, whose ...", the paternal grandfather would refer to the uncle, without direct relationship with Kiran, or even a stranger.

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