In possessive relative clauses involving people and objects , choosing between of which and whose seems tricky.
Do not hesitate to use whose to replace of which. They have the same function if we take the idiomatic meaning of ‘whose’. Check out below sentences:
- Australia is one of those countries of which capital is not their largest city. (lengthy)
- Like a city of which walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.
- He knows how to ignore an error of which effects are minor.
- Australia is one of those countries whose capital is not their largest city. (concise)
- Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.
- He knows how to ignore an error whose effects are minor.
As seen above, whose even sounds clearer, shorter and more natural than of which. Do not be hampered by the rule that whose cannot refer to things.
Here are more examples:
- It’s a telephone company whose lines extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
- Belgium was one quaking peril, an inferno, whose torturers were Spaniards.