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I'm writing a piece of documentation for a program, I want to specify the return value of a function. For sake of simplicity, I've assumed here that the function always returns a list with two items inside (i.e. [1, 2]). For the "Return" part of the documentation, I need a sentence which indicates that

  1. The return type is "list"
  2. Items of the list are 1 and 2

What I wrote was

Return: A list which its items are 1 and 2

But one of my colleagues believes that

Return: A list the items of which are 1 and 2

is a better representation.

I want to know that:

  1. Is the first sentence wrong?
  2. Is the second form preferred?

marked as duplicate by Hot Licks, Skooba, RegDwigнt Sep 10 '18 at 12:30

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  • 1
    Please provide a reasonable amount of context. – Hot Licks Sep 10 '18 at 11:48
  • @HotLicks I've added some context, hope it's enough – AliLotfi Sep 10 '18 at 12:02
  • The possessive of which is whose. Please use a dictionary. There is no such thing as "which its". The word for that is "whose". – RegDwigнt Sep 10 '18 at 12:31

The first expression has incorrect syntax. I would say: “a list, whose items are 1 and 2...”

  • I agree. The use of "whose" does not imply that this list is a person. – GEdgar Sep 10 '18 at 12:17
  • Yes GEdgar - yet another oddity of the English language! – MotherBrain Sep 13 '18 at 10:41

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