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Plural and Possessive Forms with Names Ending in y
How do you form the plural of a proper noun that ends in y such as Murphy? Should you change the name to Murphies? Given how other English words ending in y form their plurals, you would think so.
However, proper nouns are not pluralized the same way as common nouns are.
Rule: Do not change the spelling of a name to make it plural. Instead, just add s.
Example: I visited the Murphys last weekend.
Example: We have two Zacharys in our office.
What if you want to show possession with a name that ends in y?
Rule: To show singular possession, use the apostrophe and then the s.
Example: I petted Mrs. Murphy’s cat.
Rule: To show plural possession, make the proper noun plural first, then use the apostrophe.
Example: I petted the Murphys’ cat.
Example: I visited the Murphys’ store on Main Street.
Rule: To show the plural of a name that ends in s, ch, or z, add es.
Examples: The Sanchezes will be over soon. The Thomases moved away.
Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, we are only able to respond to individual English usage questions if submitted through GrammarBook.com's "Grammar Blog."
1. I wish I had known the Kennedys/Kennedies/Kennedy’s better.
2. I know three Mary’s/Marys who live in Bangkok.
3. Mary’s/Marys dog is very friendly.
4. If the Kennedies’/Kennedys’/Kennedy’s home comes up for sale, I will buy it.
5. If Mrs. Kennedys’/Kennedy’s home comes up for sale, I will buy it.
6. Are the Church’es/Churches/Churche’s your friends?
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