Apostrophes with Names Ending in s, ch, or z

Please note: This original post from July 28, 2009, has been updated and replaced by a new version of Apostrophes with Names Ending in s, ch, or z, published on September 7, 2017.

Are you confused about how to show the plural and the possessive of certain names? Maybe you know to write I met the Smiths, I drove Brenda Smith’s Ferrari, and I visited the Smiths’ house. But what if the name is Sanchez or Church or Williams?

Rule: To show the plural of a name that ends with a ch, s, or z sound, add es. If a name ends in ch, but is pronounced with a hard k sound, its plural will require s, rather than es.
The Sanchezes will be over soon.
The Thomases moved away.
The Churches have arrived but the Bohmbachs are running late.

Rule: To show singular possession of a name ending in ch, add ’s on the end of the name.
Harry Birch’s house

Rule: To show singular possession of a name ending in s or z, some writers add just an apostrophe. Others also add another s. See Rules 1b and 1c of Apostrophes for more discussion.
Bill Williams’ car OR Bill Williams’s car
Mrs. Sanchez’s children

Rule: To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.
the Williamses’ car
the Birches’ house
the Sanchezes’ children


Pop Quiz

Choose the correct proper noun in each sentence below. The original proper noun is in parentheses.

1. I’m going to marry Ms. Straus’/Strauses’/Straus’s daughter. (Straus)

2. The Ortiz’/Ortizes’/Ortiz’s dog bit the mailman. (Ortiz)

3. My son can’t seem to get enough of Sandi Finches/Finches’/Finch’s fried chicken. (Finch)

4. The Ames/Amess/Ameses are coming home from vacation tomorrow. (Ames)


Pop Quiz Answers

1. I’m going to marry Ms. Straus’s daughter. (OR Ms. Straus’ daughter)

2. The Ortizes’ dog bit the mailman.

3. My son can’t seem to get enough of Sandi Finch’s fried chicken.

4. The Ameses are coming home from vacation tomorrow.

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296 Comments on Apostrophes with Names Ending in s, ch, or z

296 responses to “Apostrophes with Names Ending in s, ch, or z

  1. Teri says:

    What about with a name that ends in two sses, e.g. Mr. Lawless’s opinions. Is that correct?

  2. Sarah Mirkovic says:

    Our last name is Mirkovic which looks like it would be easy because the last letter is just “c.” The problem is it’s a Slavic name and the “c” is pronounced as a “ch.” So Mirkovics looks weird but so does Mirkovices because of how it’s pronounced. I can’t find anything online to tell me what to do! Any idea? Thank you!

    • We wish we could help you, but unfortunately Slavic and English language principles are at odds here. You are correct that “Mercovices” solves nothing because people would likely pronounce that to rhyme with vises. “Mercovics” would be the correct plural according to the rules, but again is not likely to help with proper pronunciation by people who don’t already know how your name is pronounced. You may need to be creative and perhaps a bit tolerant, e.g., The Mercovic family invites you …, Sarah and Bob Mercovic invite you …, etc.

  3. Viridiana Kurz says:

    I’m trying to get a personalized picture of our new house. Our last name is Kurz. How should it be punctuated?

    The Kurz’ est. 2020
    The Kurz’s est. 2020
    The Kurzes est. 2020


  4. Doma says:

    I wanted to know whether to use apostrohpes after nonliving things or other than human, like school’s name, dog’ leg, house’s colour, etc.

  5. Colleen says:

    How would I write this?
    The Edwards’ family special moment or the Edwards’s family special moment or the Edwards family’s special moment.
    Which is correct?

  6. Betsy says:

    Remote Learning:
    My child wants to write a book about maple sugaring. His last name is Jones. He has titled his book….Jones Sugaring. How should that be punctuated?
    Jones Sugaring
    Jones’ Sugaring
    Jone’s Sugaring

  7. Johanna Gudaitis says:

    So for something that we want to be printed on with our family name…Gudaitis. We would put The Gudaitises? No apostrophe? Right?

  8. Stephen Peterson says:

    This rule is actually much simpler than most people make it to be. It isn’t the quantity of the noun (singular/plural) that determines the placement of the apostrophe when forming the possessive; it’s the spelling of the word. If the word doesn’t end in S, add an apostrophe followed by S to form the possessive. If the word already ends in S, simply add an apostrophe to form the possessive.

    Consider the following examples:
    – A ball belonging to one boy: the boy’s ball (the noun forming the possessive is “boy”, so add ‘s.)
    – A ball belonging to multiple boys: the boys’ ball (the noun forming the possessive is “boys”, so add ‘).
    – A toy belonging to one child: the child’s toy (the noun forming the possessive is “child” so add ‘s).
    – A toy belonging to multiple children: the children’s toy (the noun forming the possessive is “children”, so add ‘s). [Note the rule still applies, despite the irregular plural in this case. For this reason, a bathroom used by persons of the female gender would be called either “the ladies’ room” or “the women’s room”. Again, it’s not the quantity of the noun, but the spelling that governs. The forms “ladie’s room” and “womens’ room” are both incorrect, since the forms “ladie” and “womens” do not exist in English on their own.]
    – A car belonging to Dennis’: Dennis’ car (the noun forming the possessive is “Dennis” so add ‘). Note the rule still applies, even though it is singular, and a proper name.
    – A house belonging to the Peterson family: the Petersons’ house (the noun forming the possessive is Petersons, so add ‘).
    – Consequently, the orthography “s’s” can never occur in English, under any circumstance whatsoever. It is always incorrect.

    • Somewhere in the back of your mind, you must be able to hear a teacher’s voice saying, “Never say never.” You were doing pretty well until your final item.
      We follow the guidance of leading reference books such as The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Stylebook. The Chicago Manual of Style’s Rule 7.22 says, “Some writers and publishers prefer the system, formerly more common, of simply omitting the possessive s on all words ending in s—hence “Dylan Thomas’ poetry,” “Etta James’ singing,” and “that business’ main concern.” Though easy to apply and economical, such usage disregards pronunciation in the majority of cases and is therefore not recommended by Chicago.”
      Therefore, our Rule 1c of Apostrophes includes the s’s spelling for possessive nouns ending in s. For a car belonging to Dennis, we would prefer writing it as Dennis’s car. Using one of CMOS’s (note, we violated your edict again) examples, we would definitely write “that business’s main concern.”

  9. Adina Sippel says:

    I am wanting to make a plaque for my nephew and his new bride Their last name is Wuertz and I want It to be plural and possessive, but I thought I remember from school that it would just have an apostrophe at the end but it’s been a long time since I’ve been in school.

    • As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” The plural possessive is the Wuertzes’.

  10. Nicole Mirabal says:

    I want to make a sign for my mom for Christmas. I want the sign to say welcome to Miss. Kay’s. Is that correct or is it
    Miss. Kays?

  11. Purple Girl says:

    My last name is Mudrich. I would like to make a return address stamp to indicate our household (my husband and myself). Should it be “the Mudriches”? We have a sign in our kitchen that we inherited that says “the Mudrich’s.” I personally prefer the way “The Mudrichs” looks. Which way is correct? Thank you!

    • The plural of your last name is formed by adding es on the end after the ch. Therefore, “the Mudriches” is correct as a simple plural. The sign in your kitchen implies a plural possessive such as “the Mudriches’ kitchen” or “the Mudriches’ home.” However, “the Mudrich’s” is grammatically incorrect.

  12. Someone says:

    What about D’or? Do I write D’or’s or what?

  13. J McGuinness says:

    If I am trying to state that something is the property of my husband, Luke McGuinness, would I say that it’s Luke McGuinness’s?

    And if I am trying to state that something is the collective property of the McGuinness Family, would I write that it’s the McGuinnesses’s car?


    • As the post states, “To show singular possession of a name ending in s or z, some writers add just an apostrophe. Others also add another s.” Either Luke McGuinness’s car or Luke McGuinness’ car is acceptable in writing, but you would likely say McGuinness’s. Regarding collective property, the rule above says, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, write the McGuinnesses’ car.

  14. Jessica Karsies says:

    My last name is Karsies and I am a 4th grade teacher who is a grammar fanatic! Until now, I always assumed that a singular noun ending in “s” needed an apostrophe then an “s” to show possession. Thus, if I wanted my last name to show possession it would need to say: “Mrs. Karsies’s Classroom.” A Google search brought me to your page and I was surprised to learn that “Mrs. Karsies’ Classroom” would also be acceptable.

    I really want to order a sign for my classroom that says, “Mrs. Karsies’s Classroom” but have always been hesitant to do that based on the fear that OTHERS would think that I’m writing it incorrectly. After reading that “Mrs. Karsies’ Classroom” would also be acceptable, I now worry that those familiar in grammar would think that that’s the INCORRECT way to write it.

    So my question is… which of the two ways for my last name to show possession is MORE appropriate?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Either way, Karsies’ or Karsies’s, is correct. The only way to be “incorrect” or “less appropriate” is to be inconsistent. There may be no way to avoid criticism from folks who have been taught that one way is correct, and they refuse to budge from that position. Here’s how we would do it: in accordance with how you would pronounce “Mrs. Karsies’/Karsies’s Classroom.”

  15. Matthew says:

    My son is named Silas. If I want to show possession with his name, would the correct spelling be Silas’, as in Silas’ turn, or Silas’ bike, etc?
    Now that I look at an earlier response it looks like Silas’ or Silas’s are acceptable.


  16. Jessica says:

    Our last name is Matos.

    If I want to write The Matos’ Pool would I add the apostrophe on the end. Or is it The Matos’s Pool or even The Matoses’ pool?

    So confusing…

    Thank you.

    • As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, write “The Matoses’ Pool.” (You may wish to capitalize “Pool” if you’re making a sign, but “pool” may be more appropriate in descriptive text such as a letter or party invitation.)

  17. Dawn Marie Wessel says:

    The following is not clear for me:
    “Are you confused about how to show the plural and the possessive of certain names? Maybe you know to write I met the Smiths, I drove Brenda Smith’s Ferrari, and I visited the Smiths’ house. But what if the name is Sanchez or Church or Williams?”

    I wonder if in this intro you would show an example of plural and possessive, right after the term. This appears to assume that people know it already, but many do not. Thanks so much.

  18. Marc says:

    My sons name is Jarvis
    He is about to start kindy and my wife want to make a sign
    is it Jarvis’ first day of kindy or Jarvises’ first day of kindy

    if he had a bag would it be Jarvis’ Bag or Jarvis’s Bag or Jarvises’ Bag?

    • Our Rule 1c of Apostrophes says, “Some writers and editors add only an apostrophe to all nouns ending in s. And some add an apostrophe + s to every proper noun, be it Hastings’s or Jones’s.” Therefore, either Jarvis’s or Jarvis’ is acceptable. We prefer Jarvis’s because that’s how we would say it.

      • Mike says:

        When narrating a written work and coming across the unpreferred Jarvis’ form, the speaker is expected to give the apostrophe a whole /iz/ syllable? I can’t think of any other context in which adding an apostrophe but not adding a letter could possibly suggest adding a syllable. We often see an apostrophe create a syllable despite the omission of the vowel normally required of a syllable, but this takes it a step further in that the apostrophe creates a syllable despite the omission of, well, every letter that would comprise said syllable! I’m certainly not suggesting that we should omit the syllable when speaking (Jarvis’ and Jarvis would then be indistinguishable); rather, what I find troubling is the fact that some writers opt for the “cleaner look” of dropping the s at the expense of creating a whole new category of pronunciation anomaly.

  19. Alison Galloway says:

    I want to order a balloon with a message to say Chelsea and Lewis’s Formal 2019. There is a debate on going as to whether the apostrophe should be as stated above or after the s in the name Lewis. Who is right please?

    • Our Rule 1c of Apostrophes says, “Some writers and editors add only an apostrophe to all nouns ending in s. And some add an apostrophe + s to every proper noun, be it Hastings’s or Jones’s.” Therefore, either Lewis’s or Lewis’ is acceptable. We have a preference for Chelsea and Lewis’s Formal 2019 because that’s how we would say it.

  20. Tom says:

    I am starting an “Owners’ Club” and want to make sure the grammar is correct. Is this the right way or should it be “Owner’s Club” or “Owners Club”?

  21. Chloe says:

    I ordered a personalized doormat for a friend. Their last name is Furness. The doormat says “The Furness’s…..est 2002,” meaning “the Furness’s house established in 2002.” Is the family unit singular possession of the house, or should it be the Furnesses or Furness’?

    • As the rule above states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.”The Furnesses’ is correct if you are referring to the plural possessive in the phrase “the Furnesses’ house.”

  22. Amy says:

    I am making a plaque for someone whose last name is Tantoulous. If I want to refer to the entire family, would the spelling be “The Tantoulouses” or “The Tantoulousses”? Thanks, appreciate the help!

  23. Sam says:

    I would like to ask the proper way to write this: Ice’s 1st Birthday or Ice’ 1st Birthday. Thank you.

  24. Angela Cobb says:

    I am doing a Christmas sign for a friend whose surname is Cross. The sign will say Christmas at the Cross’. Is this correct? Christmas at the Crosses doesn’t look right. Also, I am doing another with the surname Marshall; so is it Christmas at the Marshalls, Marshall’s, or Marshalls’?

    • As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, Christmas at the Crosses’ is correct.
      To show plural possession for the last name Marshall, form the plural by adding an s followed by an apostrophe. Write Christmas at the Marshalls’. See our Rules for Apostrophes.

  25. Sandra says:

    I’m writing birthday inviations for Baziz, but it’s a given name not a surname. Is it “You’re invited to Baziz’s birthday party”?

  26. LM says:

    I am trying to make a flyer for our school, which is named Maplewood Heights. I can’t figure out the punctuation. Is it Maplewood Heights’ Food Drive or Maplewood Heights’s Food Drive? Is it Maplewood Heights’ Student Council or Maplewood Heights’s Student Council? Thank you for helping!

    • As the post states, “To show singular possession of a name ending in s or z, some writers add just an apostrophe. Others also add another s. See Rules 1b and 1c of Apostrophes for more discussion.” All of your examples are grammatically correct; therefore, the best advice is to choose a formula and stay consistent.

  27. D says:

    I was wondering about how to indicate possession of a name that ends in a “S” that is not pluralized. For example, a company called “Industrious.” Additionally, how would I indicate possession when the word itself is an adjective that has become a proper noun?

  28. Trish Bennett says:

    What would be the correct spelling of Pallas’ Mom ? Should it be that way or with ‘s?

    • If referring to a character of Greek mythology or an individual whose name is Pallas, either Pallas’ mom or Pallas’s mom is correct. We prefer Pallas’s as that’s how we would pronounce it.

  29. Manuela says:

    I’m making a sign for my home that says “Ended up at the Rodriguez’s”… Is apostrophe s the correct form for this?

    • As the post states, to show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe. Therefore, Ended up at the Rodriguezes’ is correct if the last name is Rodriguez.

  30. KRISTINA Danyluk says:

    I’m making some art work for a friend’s daughter whose name is Paris. The art will say “Paris’ magical birthday.” Is this the correct way to write the name Paris or should it be Parises? Thank you.

  31. PLF says:

    I have an online digital print shop and sometimes I get requests from wedding couples to add their last name to the signature drink sign being displayed at their wedding. I have a bride with the new last name of “McCrarys.” She isn’t sure how I should write her new name, would it be “The McCrarys’ Signature Drinks” or is this an example of when I would ad an “es” on the end? Thanks so much for your guidance!

    • As the post states, to show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe. Therefore, even though it may seem cumbersome, “The McCraryses’ Signature Drinks” is correct if the last name is McCrarys. The couple will be getting their marriage off to a grammatically correct start!

  32. tracey spinks says:

    My surname is Spinks and i would like to personalise a christmas card that say Seasons greeting from the Spinks’s is that correct or should it be the Spinks’

  33. Graham says:

    What about pronunciation? Are Straus’ and Straus’s pronounced the same way?

    Or for a more extreme example, consider Mr and Mrs Mises, whose name is pronounced MEEZ-IZ. As per the article, we could refer to their abode as either “The Miseses’ home” or “The Miseses’s home”. Would both of them be pronounced MEEZ-IZ-IZ-IZ? Or perhaps the former would be just MEEZ-IZ-IZ?

    • Straus’ and Straus’s would be pronounced as strauses (or strausez). The final rule and examples applied correctly to your example can result only in “The Miseses’ home.”

  34. sahar says:

    The real name is Holmes. What is the correct way to write “Holmes’ decision”?

  35. Nicole says:

    Last name is Cox. Plural possession would be the Coxes? And not just “The Cox” ?

  36. Jo says:

    So if I’m marrying a Ruiz then plural possession of the name would be – The Ruizes’ ?

  37. Bob says:

    My last is watamura should I use “The Watamuras house”?

  38. Sharon Smith says:

    How about showing possession of a first name… Like Chris, James, Hoss, etc?

    Chris’s eyes, James’ book, etc?

  39. Ben says:

    What would the correct spelling be for this sentence?
    Mrs Holmes’s reader of the week.


  40. Cathy says:

    I am engaged and soon to be married, and I was wanting to purchase a family garden flag for our home but not sure how it should be personalized in the correct form. My soon to be last name will be Fields…… in order to show possession on the flag how do I write it?
    The Fields’ or The Field’s.

    • As demonstrated in the rule above, to show plural possession of a name ending in s, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe. The plural of Fields is Fieldses. The possessive form is Fieldses’. This would correctly convey that this home belongs to the Fields family. You could also write “The Fieldses” on the flag to correctly convey that the Fields family lives there.

  41. Amelia says:

    I am trying to make a blog name and my name is Amelia so I wanted to call the page Amelia’s Adventures. However, I then decided I would prefer to use my nickname Milz but I am unsure of the correct grammar to use. Should I call it Milz’ Adventures, Milz Adventures, Milz Adventures or Milz’s Adventures?

  42. Cassie says:

    I am writing a paper and getting really upset with the following sentence:
    “This does not cover all of the skateboarders’s ages.”
    Would this still be grammatically correct?

    • No, our Rule 2a of Apostrophes says, “Regular nouns are nouns that form their plurals by adding either the letter s or es (guy, guys; letter, letters; actress, actresses; etc.). To show plural possession, simply put an apostrophe after the s.”
      “This does not cover all the skateboarders’ ages.”

  43. Julia says:

    I put on our Christmas cards The Adkins’s

    Now I’m thinking that is wrong…. the more I read and debating on send them out.

  44. Brooke says:

    For years, I wrote Miss Fernandes’s classroom because it is what I prefer. Another teacher exploded on me and told me I was totally incorrect and that it was supposed to be Miss Fernandes’ classroom. I’m going to find that lady and show her this article. I’m going to rub it in her face!

  45. Amanda says:

    I’m making a sign that will say “The Hollis’s Est. 2006”. Is this correct? *Last name is Hollis, and I want this to show the year we married.

  46. Winters says:

    So my last name is Winters, and according to the rule it would be pluralized as Winterses, but that both looks and sounds awful. Will people think I’m uneducated if I simply use “The Winters” on cards? I would say “The Winters Family” but we have no children & I don’t want our families & friends to get the wrong idea (trust me, they would)

  47. Ellie W says:

    I’m writing an English paper and I’m wondering how you would say “Thoreau and Emersons’ pieces,” meaning they each have one piece of literature I am referencing. Would I have to say “Thoreau’s and Emerson’s pieces,” or would the latter suffice?

  48. Gwen says:

    I create Christmas family signs and I am unsure of how to end surnames that finish with “s”. for example I have to do a sign that says “Christmas at the Inglis…” but I am unsure how I should end this, would it be Inglis’ or Inglis’s or Inglises’?
    Many thanks

    • First determine whether the surname is intended to be a simple plural, a singular possessive, or a plural possessive. Since it appears that your sign will either end with a word such as home or with such a word understood, then we know that it is a possessive. Also, you mention that the sign is for a family; therefore, the name will be plural since more than one person lives in the home. As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first [Inglises]; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, write Christmas at the Inglises’ or Christmas at the Inglises’ home/house/residence.

  49. M.wood says:

    When making a football swestshirt for a younger sibling of a player would the proper way be:
    Wood’s little sister or
    Woods’ little sister


  50. Lisa says:

    Ok, I need help! I am making a sign for a family with the last name Demas. I don’t want it to say “The Demas family.” Would it be the Demases or the Demas’ or the Demas’s?

  51. Alden says:

    My last name is Cruz. Planning to order personalized gift cards, is it correct to use With Love, The Cruzes? Thank you.

  52. Wendy Brosious says:

    This article (on 09/13/2017) was so timely. I’ve been questioning the possessives I’ve been using but have not had the time to look up the topic on your website. The article was loaded with all the examples of which one could think. Thanks so much for putting it in this week’s newsletter!

  53. gaurav says:

    in( chapter’s name ) the use of apostrophe ‘s’ in chapter is right or wrong …as we know that ..we can not use …apostrophe ‘s’ with non- living thing …plz reply as soon as possible…

  54. Big Ol' Dave says:

    Well, you gave reply to the Mackintosh question. So if there’s a Mackintosh and he’s gonna give us a party then is it Mackintosh’s party or Mackintosh’ party?

  55. Justin says:

    How would i write Marquez in the context: Marquezes Candy Bar

    its for our wedding so it would be referring to both my wife and I

  56. Amogh Inamdar says:

    Our family name is Inamdar.
    I made a nameplate for our house that spells Inamdars’.
    Is this correct?

  57. Julie says:

    This letter is to inform you of Mr. Rodriguezes (Rodriguez’s or Rodriguez’) progress?

  58. Lois says:

    When referring to several people with the same name, and that name ends in s, would this be the correct spelling?
    There are three Loises in our family.

  59. S. says:

    If I’m writing “Mr. Gonzalez’ experience”, I have always been inclined to not write the “s”, should I? I know both ways may be correct, but which would be best (I need it for an educational publication!) Thank you!

    • We would lean toward writing Gonzalez’s since that is how we would say it. As we mention in our Rules for Apostrophes, there are conflicting policies and theories about how to show possession when writing such nouns. You might want to find out which method the educational publication prefers.

  60. Susan Flores says:

    How would you write the last name of Flores?

    Would it be Flores’ or Floreses?? This will represent more than one person.

    Thank you!

  61. Kate says:

    Would this information also be correct for names ending in ‘sh’? Eg Mackintosh?

    Mr and Mrs Mackintosh are the Mackintoshes?

    The Mackintoshes’ home?

  62. Jessica says:

    Supposing there was an annual General Survey of Software Systems, abbreviated GSSS. The abbreviation is capitalized, and is further complicated by ending in an “S”.

    How would you indicate the plural when referring to different years?

    The 2016 GSSS was significantly longer than the 2013 and the 2009 GSSSes?

    Would an apostrophe be appropriate? We are not trying to indicate possessiveness, simply plurality.

    • A simple plural does not generally use an apostrophe. You may write GSSSs or recast the sentence, e.g., The 2016 GSSS was significantly longer than the GSSS of either 2013 or 2009.

  63. Heather says:

    I am trying to get the correct information for my wedding invitation. My fiance’s last name is Swartz and the wedding is at his parents house. For the location, would The Swartz Family Home be correct? Or should I say The Swartzes?

    • The possessive form could be The Swartz family’s home or The Swartzes’ family home. Some writers prefer to use the word Swartz as an adjective and omit the apostrophe; therefore, The Swartz family home is also acceptable. See our post Apostrophes and False Possessives for more information. Invitations often have their own sets of rules and styles and are not always the same as formal writing.

  64. Randseed says:

    I still have some doubts as to the proper way to pronounce the possessive of the historical “Jesus”. Very often I hear narrators pronounce it as “Jesus-ez” for Jesus’ but that always sounded a bit redundant to me. One friend countered with the question, “What if his name was actually Jesu? If something belonged to him it would be pronounced ‘Jesu-ez’ and that might be confused with Jesus’.” Which would you recommend?

    • As we mention in our Apostrophes rules 1b and 1c, there is no single way to show possession with nouns ending in s. The possessive could be written either as Jesus’s or Jesus’. We lean toward spelling it Jesus’s and pronouncing it with three syllables. The possessive of the name Jesu would be Jesu’s, pronounced with two syllables.

  65. Amy Nichols says:

    How would you show possession for the name Marcus cause I’m still confused. Do I write it like this:

    I love Marcus’ smile
    I doubled Marcus’ bottle this morning

    Or is it Marcus’s or Marcuses ?? Help please.

  66. Keren says:

    I’m writing a card do i put (aka Jack & Jane’s Mom) or (aka Jack’s & Jane’s Mom) ?

  67. Joanna Jose says:

    am i correct in using “Dinner with the Dela Cruzes” or not? help please

  68. Claudia Muniz says:

    Our Last Name is Muniz, and I was going to get some invitations done for my little girl’s party, but I was not sure what the proper way to write The Muniz’s Castle, The Munizes’ Castle, please help!

    • As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, write The Munizes’ Castle.

  69. Joani says:

    Joani Weiss’ doggy is cute!
    Dennis’ doggy is too!!!

  70. Darren Collins says:

    I’m making some signs and have been questioned about my apostrophes. Dicko’s Bar Daz’s Bar John’s Bar is the apostropes possessive in these instances ?? After a name or nickname

  71. Hamez says:

    I’m trying to start up a clothing store, in my last name.
    Would I use McFaddens or McFadden’s Store?

  72. Danielle says:

    How would you pluralize the last name “Ha”? (Pronounced as if you were saying “haha”) The Has? Seems confusing since has is another word.

  73. Pauline says:

    How about for a last name like “Price”? Is “Prices” correct?

  74. Rose says:

    Our family name is Buckles, my husband and I being the only ones at our home. I want to personalize an ornament for the two of us. First, should I use the possessive form, as in The Buckleses’ (home) or the plural of us as a couple, as in (we are) The Buckleses? Secondly, Buckleses sounds and looks ridiculous, with the last two letters in our name being “es”. Is there another way to do it?

    • There is no right or wrong way to personalize an item as you’ve described. You may exercise your preference. Buckleses is the correct plural of your last name. We are reminded that, in Bill Clinton’s autobiography My Life, he mentions his friend whose last name is Thomases (not Thomas). Just imagine the plural of that family’s last name: the Thomaseses.

  75. Lissy says:

    I have never seen this addressed anywhere online before, although a question posted on Sept. 18th comes close: The possessive of Cross? Our last name is Cross and I know the plural is “Crosses”, as in, “The Crosses will be coming.” But what about possession? Is it “the Crosses’ dog” or “the Cross’s dog”?
    The double s makes it awkward, I think.

    • As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, “the Crosses’ dog” is correct.

  76. Desiree says:

    Is this correct? Travis’s Schedule

  77. Angel says:

    Doing the weddings invitations…
    The fuerte’s family

  78. Sonya says:

    Is it “Red Cross’s outreach programme” or “Red Cross’ outreach programme”? I prefer the former but have come across both. Thanks.

  79. Kay says:

    I am ordering a personalized item with my friend and her son’s name on it. Her nickname is Anacrusis. Should i put Anacrusis’ son or Anacrusis’s son?

  80. Nicole says:

    When referring to a Board of Directors – would it be Board of Directors’ Meeting or Board of Director’s Meeting?

    • More information about this topic can be found in our posts Apostrophes and False Possessives and Confusing Possessives. The line between a possessive or genitive form and a noun used attributively is sometimes fuzzy. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends using an apostrophe in the term “farmers’ market,” although it acknowledges that terms similar to this sometimes appear without one. The word directors can be considered either a possessive noun (directors’) or an adjective describing the meeting (directors). “Board of directors” is not a proper noun, therefore it does not need to be capitalized. However, some companies capitalize it, so you might have to comply with the company’s ego rule.

  81. Seth says:

    How does one pluralize and form the possessive for a last name that ends with and “s” or “es” but is not pronounced? Also, how would one pronounce those forms of the name?
    For example “Dumas” pronounced “Duma” or the same in DeMarais.

    • Similar to our November 17, 2015, reply to Traci, the plurals would be Dumases and DeMaraises. The plural forms of the names would be pronounced like the singular forms with an s sound at the end. The possessives would be Dumases’ and DeMaraises’ (see our Rule 2d of Apostrophes).

  82. Jarris Wilkins says:

    As Jarris Wilkins, I have dealt with these grammatical matters for all of my life. In school, I was taught that the singular possessive of both of my names was the simple apostrophe, however, I have been corrected so many times for this usage that I had given up on it.

    You have given me the confidence to go on! My, that is Jarris’, pen thanks you.

  83. Juanita Allen says:

    To make a plural of a surname ending in a vowel – such as Kawamoto – would it be the Kawamotos or the Kawamoto’s?

  84. Erica says:

    How do you treat a proper noun, that already ends in ‘s?
    For example, Macy’s or Elmer’s.

    I am writing direct emails to employees of certain companies where they commonly refer to their employer as “Macy’s” or “Elmer’s”. I thought of using the legal company names as a workaround (which would allow for the plural “‘s” to be applied to “Inc.” rather than the DBA) but it would work against the conversational tone of the emails.

    I appreciate any feedback…thank you!

  85. J.D. says:

    Thank you very much for this information! This article is very helpful and concise!

  86. AJ says:

    I have a couple students with apostrophes in their names and am unsure how to add a possessive.
    Ex. I’Miyjan

  87. Lori says:

    Name ends in a “z’ Is it Mr. Jimenez’s cat is fat or Mr. Jimenez’ cat is fat?

  88. Julie moorman says:

    I am personalizing gifts for christmas… I am Abit confused as to how I would do the Last name of Hust?

  89. Geraldine Traver says:

    I am ordering personalized hot pads for my daughter and her future husband. The order form says to write the pluralized last name. I think it should be plural possessive. Their name is Bintz and the hot pad will say “THE (last name) KITCHEN”. Am I correct in submitting Bintzes’?

  90. Stacey Holloway says:

    I want to write: Merry Christmas! Love The Holloways

    Should it be: Love The Holloways
    Love The Holloway’s
    Love The Holloways’

  91. Catherine says:

    I am having a plaque made that reads “The Evans Family Travels” or should it read “The Evans’ Family Travels”?

  92. Pam says:

    How about the last name “Skeoch” pronounced “Skew”? Since the “ch” sound is not present, but rather a “W” sound would it follow the same rule as the hard “K” & the proper plural would be “Skeochs” rather than “Skeoches”


    • This sort of spelling-pronunciation combination does not fall neatly into any hard-and-fast rules. Both “Skeochs” and “Skeoches” seem equally reasonable. Ask the most educated member of the Skeoch family what he or she suggests. If you don’t know the family, follow your own instincts, because this is a wash.

  93. Tracie says:

    Last name Goelz. For a holiday card would it be the Goelz’s?

  94. Traci says:

    My fiance’s family name, Latiolais, is French and is pronounced Latch-o-lay. Since the s is silent, do I add an -es to pluralize? The rules for the French language are to only pluralizes the article. I have not found any reference to pluralize a silent s. Thank you for your help!

  95. Alicia says:

    My married last name is Peetz. For a plaque, would it read “The Peetz” or “The Peetz’s” ? Thanks!!!

  96. Brian says:

    I am making a sign that says. Hess’ hide a way, Is this correct way of spelling Hess, read allot of conflicting reports. Thanks for your help.

    • If you are speaking about one person whose name is Hess, Hess’s and Hess’ are both acceptable. If you are speaking about more than one person whose name is Hess, Hesses’ would be correct. The word hideaway is usually spelled as one word.

  97. Winnie De Guzman says:

    Which is correct? pacquiao is the Philippine’s or Philippines’ pride? Thanks!

  98. Bill says:

    Last name is Parsons
    Is it Parsons’

  99. sasha says:

    If a teacher’s last name is Lopes do you write Ms. Lopes’ class to show possession? What if her last name is spelled Lopez?

  100. Naomi says:

    I love your site, but I haven’t yet found my way to the answer for the following question: what is the plural form of Hercules? As in the aircraft, or more specifically, multiples of the aircraft?! Herculeses? Hercules’? Hercules? It’s one of those riddles that is caught in my brain! Thank you in advance.

  101. marsha says:

    trying to order a pre ink stamp , not sure the correct grammar

    the Suarez Family or The Suarezes Family

  102. Marie says:

    We’re going on a family road trip and I would like us to wear tshirts that says “The Delacruz Family Vacation or The Delacruz Road Trip” . Is it with “es” in the end or z’?


    • There are many possibilities; here are three: The Delacruz Family Vacation (or Road Trip), The Delacruz Family’s Vacation (or Road Trip), or (if “family” is an adjective) The Delacruzes’ Family Vacation (or Road Trip).

  103. Brandi says:

    If I made a plaque would I use for a last name “Leritz” Leritzes or Leritzs’ or something else?

    Also the same with the last name “Sievers” like welcome to the “Sievers'” home or “Leritzs’ home..?

    • The simple plural forms are “the Laritzes” and “the Sieverses.” Plaques that are written “Welcome to the Laritzes’ home” and “Welcome to the Sieverses’ home” are plural possessives and require apostrophes.

  104. Jaz says:

    My character is called Kunz. How do I put an apostrophe after his name? Would it be Kunz’ trophy or Kunzes’ trophy or Kunz’s trophy?

  105. Kris says:

    If I have a sentence that says “Hunter Thomas’s reputation follows him everywhere he goes…” etc. Is it Thomas’ or Thomas’s or Thomases’? I am so confused…Thanks in advance.

    • As the blog states, “To show singular possession of a name ending in s, some writers add just an apostrophe. Others also add another s.” Therefore, write Thomas’ or Thomas’s.

  106. Deanne says:

    How about this one: adding a possessive to a name ending in an “s” sound but with a silent “e?” Is it “Chase’s or Chase’?”

  107. Howard E. Halpern says:

    Thank you very much for this. Wasn’t sure if it was okay to end a name with z’ (as in Kambiz’). Now I know.

    My understanding is that if a name ends in a hard “s” sound, as “Jesus”, an apostrophe at the end is sufficient. However, if the name ends in a soft “s” sound, as “Princess”, pluralization requires an apostrophe followed by an additional “s”. The possessive of Jesus is pronounced exactly as is the word “Jesus”. The possessive of Princess is pronounced in the same way as its plural, “Princesses”.

    By the way, I am purposely placing punctuation after quotation marks because I have found that to do it in the conventional way tends to cause ambiguity and inconsistency. It is for this reason that some public relations writers refrain from enclosing the final period in quotation marks. I have decided to follow their practice, although it is not used by most writers.

    Thank you, again, for caring about linguistic usage. It is rare that I encounter anyone who does.

    • We are pleased to hear that you also care about English usage. You may find our Rules 1b and 1c of Apostrophes on our GrammarBook.com website helpful. There we further explain methods for showing possession with nouns ending in s. As you probably know, our Rule 3a of Quotation Marks, “Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks,” reflects the American English rule.

  108. Gabi says:

    What if your last name ends in “Z” and you are just making a Christmas ornament that has memories listed but it is for 2 people and the list is of them making the memories together. The example the company uses for the last name Parker is “The Parkers” but if ending in “Z” as in Parz, would it be “The Parz’s” because Parzes doesn’t look right. But then I’ve never really paid attention to someone’s last name on an ornament or plaques outside or mailbox. With all the info on the internet about “pluralizing” last names, to many confusing answers and they all seem to be for the same specific then “such as the Parz’s House” because several with the last name live there. So what is correct?

  109. Mary Van Doren says:

    What about making a name such as Haselbach plural? To me, it would seem to be an exception because making it “Haselbaches”, as the rule requires, would change the pronunciation. (The end of the name is pronounced “back”.) My gut says it is better to use “Haselbachs”.

    • The examples we used for names ending in ch are “Church” and “Birch.” You are correct that you would not add es to make a name ending in a k sound plural. We revised the rule and added an example to the blog to clarify this point.

  110. KimK says:

    I am ordering a personalized wall plaque for a wine cellar that reads “The Krampitzes’ Wine Cellar”. Is that the correct plural and possession for the plaque? If it is correct but they only allow 14 characters with punctuation and spaces, how can I alter it?

  111. Denise Paul says:

    When ordering a sign how do I possessive the last name Lenz?

    • We assume that the sign is for the outside of a house, and that there is more than one member of the Lenz family.The plural of Lenz is Lenzes. To show plural possession, make the proper noun plural first, then use the apostrophe. The Lenzes’ implies that this is “the Lenzes’ house.” However, you could also write The Lenzes if you wish to imply that “the Lenzes live here.”

  112. Renee C. says:

    How is it best to show possession of Coons? I’m confused. For example, Coons is a family name. It ends in S. I want to show possession. You are invited to the Coons’ house for a party?

    Or Coonses’ house for a party?

    I’ve always used Coons’ to show our name (multiple family members named Coons live in the house/are hosting the party). I’m ok being “old school” style in my writing-I just don’t want to completely incorrect.

    • As demonstrated in the rule above, to show plural possession of a name ending in s, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe. The plural of Coons is Coonses. The possessive form is Coonses’.

  113. Mikaela says:

    I am ordering a stamp as a housewarming gift with last name Goetz including their new home address to be used for their outgoing mail. What is the proper way? The Goetzes or The Goetzes’?

  114. mike says:

    From what i understand when it comes to medical jargon if a term is named after a person it is a proper noun like Lou gehrig disease and ceasarian section. I noticied they are both pluralized by by the last name, being lou gehrig diseases and ceasarian sections is that the rule for proper nouns it is always the last word of the name? Are there instances where this is not the case when it comes to proper nouns? Also is the whole term considered a proper noun meaning not just the lou gehrig part but the whole term lou gehrig disease?

    • Most diseases are not capitalized, except for the presence of a proper noun. Lou Gehrig’s disease would be such an example. It’s hard to imagine a context in which this would be pluralized, except perhaps something like “Doctors specializing in the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s and Parkinson’s diseases are located on the fifth floor.”

  115. mike says:

    I have a question how would you pluralize a movie title. For instance war and peace, would you say how many war and peaces were sold today, and when it comes to proper nouns is the last name of the proper nouns the one that always gets pluralized. I Know pluralizing a movie would sound funny and i would probably word it to avoid the plural but i just want to know if technically would it be considered the proper way to pluralize it. If there was a movie or book called “the man who knew too much,” technically would it be proper to write “the man who knew too muches” being that it would be a proper noun.

  116. mike says:

    I have a question in the sport of jujitsu they use terms like “shrimp” which means to get to your feet from being on your back. Also a term called “take the back” which means controlling your opponent from behind. So these are their jargon terms but my question is are these terms considered common nouns or proper nouns and how would you pluralize them. Would take the back be “take the backs”. I wanted to know if they are proper or common nouns so i could know how to pluralize them. Also if it is a common noun would the last word of the name always be pluralized like my example above take the backs.

  117. Jan says:

    I want to have a doormat personalized. The family name is Fernandes, should it be “The Fernandeses”.

  118. Christine says:

    I am making return labels and I am a little confused. My last name is Humphreys. Do I put The Humphreys’s or The Humphreyes?

  119. jennifer says:

    I want to get the name the wiggins on a tree skirt and some other things do i write The Wigginses?

  120. Jan says:

    I am having hanging family planner personalized for our home and just wanted to make sure that I am correct. I would like it to say The Colliers do I need an apostrophe S (The Collier’s) or is The Colliers the correct way to personalize? Thank you!

  121. Angel says:

    I am making a Christmas plaque for my newly married daughter & son in law’s home. Their last name is Ortiz. The plaque says Season’s Greetings from The Ortizs’ . Is this correct? Thank you we are all very confused!!!

  122. Kory says:

    What if you’re just making a sign for your front door, or are buying a custom mat? How would that apply to a family with the last name Simms or Mathis? Technically, what you’re saying is, “The Simms home” or “The Simms family”. Would it appear “The Simms'”? “The Simms’s”? “The Simmses”?

    • The plural of Simms is Simmses. To show plural possession, make the proper noun plural first, then use the apostrophe. The Simmses’ implies that this is “the Simmses’ house.” However, you could also write The Simmses if you wish to imply that “the Simmses live here.” For the Mathis family, write The Mathises’ or The Mathises.

  123. Stranger says:

    I’m just wondering why the letter “s” is removed in the word Philippines to show its possession. Sample: “Philippine Airlines” instead of “Philippines Airline” or “Philippine Constitution” instead of “Philippines Constitution” or “Philippine National Police” and so on and so forth.

  124. Carol says:

    I would like to order a personalized Christmas plate for a wedding gift. The last name is Spanovich. Should the plate read “The Spanoviches”? Thanks for your help.

  125. Gabi says:

    Thank you very much. This website has taught me a lot and I am no longer confused about possessive apostrophes. I can stop worrying now.

  126. Éda Heloisa Pilla says:

    How do we write the possessive case for the word research in the sentence: The reseach ‘s end?
    Is this correct?
    Thank you

  127. Dinh Quan says:

    “Though disappoited with this the project’s preogress,Bob’s always kept trying to get it done.” Can help me to understand the implication of “Bob’s” ??? Thanks in advance!

    • The word “Bob’s” is used as a contraction for “Bob has” in your sentence. It is awkward and we recommend rewording to “Bob has.” There are other issues with the sentence.

      “Though disappointed with the project’s progress, Bob has always kept trying to get it done.”

  128. Karen says:

    What about if you are talking about two guys named Chris?

    My dear friend and his partner are both named Chris, do I say the Chrises?


  129. Mel says:

    Following the rules, the plural form of the family name Fenech would be Feneches. But what happens when you have a plural possessive of this family name, i.e We took care of the Feneches’ dogs. Would that be correct?

  130. Bedi says:

    My family name is Bedi. I am getting a house name made to put it outside our house. Should it be Bedi’s or Bedis’

    • The plural of Bedi is Bedis. To show plural possession, make the proper noun plural first, then use the apostrophe. The Bedis’ would imply that this is “the Bedis’ house.” However, you could also write The Bedis if you wish to imply that “the Bedis live here.”

      • Trisha Newton says:

        According to he Yates example above, it could also be descriptive of the house, as “The Bedi House.” Is this correct?

        • You could use the word Bedi as an adjective to describe the word House; however, if you wish to indicate “the house owned by those who are the Bedis,” we favor “The Bedis’ House.”

  131. Becky says:

    Sorry, still confused a bit. My parents rec’d an outdoor plaque for their new home. Their last name is Andrus. The plaque says, The Andrus’s. We thought it should just be, The Andrus’ but now thinking, The Andruses’ if following your guidelines. Correct?

    • The plural of Andrus is Andruses. To show plural possession, make the proper noun plural first, then use the apostrophe. The Andruses’ implies “the Andruses’ house.”

      • Rob says:

        My last name is Yates. When using a post card, sign, etc. we use “The Yates Clan” or “The Yates House” to show possessive while at the same time showing the likelyhood of multiple persons… Though not impossible, it would be far from standard to be a clan of one. Is it improper to use “The Yates House” in place of “The House of the Yates”? Would this not assume a possessive as well as a plural, aka “The House owned by those who are Yates”?

        I ask because of the multitude of questions regarding things, pardon the paraphrasing, such as “The Jones’ Family Holiday” or “The Timmons’ Family Store” Does not the word Family carry the understanding of multiple persons? One might say that a line such as “The Timmons’ Family Store” would mean that this is a store that only serves the Timmons Family; possibly the store that sells Timmons families? In a situation where there may be multiple Jones families on holiday such as a reunion, can one not simply use “The Jones Family Holiday” without having to resort to the rather cumbersome “The Joneses’ Family Holiday”? I’d like to think that despite the fact that there are multiple Members of the Jones family and multiple families, they’re all on the same holiday and thus “The Jones Family Holiday” would still be valid.

        Punctuation can be amusing.

        • Our post Apostrophes and False Possessives discusses this topic. In your first examples, the word Yates is being used as an adjective to describe Clan and House. Both are grammatically correct; however, If you wish to form the plural possessive to indicate “the house owned by those who are the Yateses,” you need to form the plural first; then immediately use an apostrophe and write “The Yateses’ House.” Note that the plural of Yates is Yateses.

          Writing “The Joneses’ Family Holiday,” indicates that it is the family holiday of the Joneses. Note the spelling of the plural possessive of Jones, as per the last rule above. You could also write “The Jones Family Holiday,” in which case the word Jones is used as an adjective.

          “The Timmonses’ Family Store” indicates that it is a store belonging to the Timmons family. The word Timmons could be used as an adjective, resulting in “The Timmons Family Store.”

  132. sherry says:

    Can you answer this – Is it
    I Wanna’ Be Buzz’ Girl……
    I Wanna’ Be Buzz’s Girl….

    Thanks Jane

    • The grammatically correct way to write your sentence is “I want to be Buzz’s girl.” The word wanna is nonstandard, although it is acknowledged in some online dictionaries as a written form of “want to,” used informally.

  133. Sonja R. says:

    What would you do with “a fragment of Heraclitus(‘)”–keep the names original “s” and add the ‘? Add “s’s”? Simply say “…of Heraclitus”?


    • You could write “a fragment of Heraclitus,” or “fragments of Heraclitus.” If you are referring to his writings in the possessive case, you could write either “Heraclitus’ fragments,” or “Heraclitus’s fragments.” Either is correct, just be consistent.

  134. colleen says:

    My married last name is Drewes. I am trying to make a personalized plaque for the holidays. Would it read: Welcome to the Drewes’ Home?

    • If a family’s name ends in s, we must add –es for the plural. Then to show possession, an apostrophe is added.
      Welcome to the Dreweses’ Home.

      • Chad Christensen says:

        Colleen, this is truly a strange solution. We need to hear what you think!

        • The solution is not truly strange. It is grammatically correct. What would be strange is if we heard from Colleen six years after posing the question.

          • Jessica says:

            Grammar Book, that was hilarious!

            On a party invitation, the event location is the Hays house. (‘Hays’ being the last name of a family.) Would it be written “Hayes’ house” or “Hays’ house”?

          • As the post states, “To show plural possession of a name ending in s, ch, or z, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe.” Therefore, write the plural possessive “Hayses’ house.”

  135. Rus says:

    How do you punctuate possesion if the name ends with an s like Chris or Rus?

    • There are conflicting rules about how to show possession when writing names that end in s. Some writers and editors add only an apostrophe to all nouns ending in s. And some add ’s to every proper noun. There is no right answer; the best advice is to choose a formula and stay consistent. You can write either Chris’ or Chris’s, Rus’ or Rus’s.

      • AJ says:

        Classically, it is not correct to just add an apostrophe to a last name that already ends in “s” if it is singular possessive. The logic is that all names should be treated the same. If it’s singular, whether a surname or first name, it should be apostrophe + “s.” I don’t care whether it’s James or John, Jones or Smith. If you’re talking about something that belongs to him, always add apostrophe “s.” For example, James’s bike. Mr. Jones’s house.

        • AJ says:

          Per the Modern Language Association, when “some writers” simply add an apostrophe after a singular proper noun ending in “s”, they are committing a stylistic error.

          • Not all writers follow MLA format. There are many different formats and style manuals, each one with different rules and practices. For example, a writer for a newspaper or magazine may follow the Associated Press Stylebook whose rule is “Singular proper names ending in s: Use only an apostrophe.”

        • As we mentioned in our reply to Rus, there are conflicting policies and theories about how to show possession when writing such nouns. There is no right answer; the best advice is to choose a formula and stay consistent.

      • Cait says:

        How is it pronounced? Do you pronounce all the Esses? Is Jones’s pronounced Joneses? Is Perez’s pronounced Perez?

  136. Vicky says:

    Please help me.

    I ordered a Christmas plaque for my sister and her husband which says

    Christmas at the Henderson’s

    Is the apostrophe correct? I thought there should be one.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.

    • Since the plaque implies “Christmas at the Hendersons’ home,” you are correct that there should be an apostrophe. “Hendersons” refers to more than one person; therefore, the apostrophe should go after the s.

      Christmas at the Hendersons’

  137. Kim says:

    How about I appreciated Dr. Strichartz help in this matter. Strichartz’ Strichartzes’??

    • To show singular possession of a name not ending in s (even if ending with an s sound, like your example) use the apostrophe and an s.
      I appreciated Dr. Strichartz’s help.
      To show singular possession of a name ending in s (such as Jones) some writers and editors add an apostrophe only (Jones’ car) and some add an apostrophe plus another s (Jones’s car).

  138. Karen says:

    I am painting personalized items for Christmas, such as “The Hansons”. How do I punctuate names that end in ‘s’ such as Jones. In the past I have done “The Jones'” but I’m not sure that is right. Other times I painted “The Jones Family” to get around it!

    • Family names ending in s become plural by adding es on the end, after the s. Therefore, the members of the Jones family are the Joneses. Your work-around of painting “The Jones Family” works too!

      • E says:

        But the family name shouldn’t be plural when speaking of the family unit. If the word “family” comes after the family surname, the family name should remain singular. You wouldn’t write “The Smiths Family.”

        • Perhaps you did not understand Karen’s question. She asked how to “punctuate” the last name Jones as an alternative to writing “the Jones family.” In other words, she was asking about the spelling of the plural and whether or not an apostrophe was necessary. We did not advise her to write “the Joneses family,” but we did reply that a personalized item could be painted with “the Joneses,” for multiple people with the last name Jones.

  139. Jeff says:

    Awesome; and funny! We had a question in some legal drafting on how to pluralize and possess the last name “Sanchez”. Had to laugh when we read the examples!

  140. Anne Hintch says:

    Our last name is Hintch. I am working with an online card creator and they don’t use plural possessive apostrophes in their card examples. For our Christmas card shouldn’t it be: The Hintches’ Top 10 Moments of 2013 instead of The Hintches Top 10 Moments of 2013?

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