How To Make Your Last Name Plural

How To Make Your Last Name Plural

It's getting to be that time of year when we scan through our photos looking for the perfect one to add to our holiday cards.

We take great care to get a good family photofree of closed eyes and children's tearsand then we mess up our last name. How do you make your family name plural, and should it have an apostrophe?

These are the mysteries we'll explore in today's lesson.

Step 1. Singular or Plural? 

You have two ways that you can sign your holiday cards. You can use the plural version of your last name (The O'Briens), or you can use a singular version of your last name plus the word family (The O'Brien Family).

If you're going to go with the ______ Family version, you're already done. Just put your last name in its singular form in front of the word family. Voila! 

Singular Last Name
The Waldman Family
The Kennedy Family
The Marsh Family
The Reich Family
The Jacobs Family
The Sanchez Family

Step 2. Make Your Family Name Plural

Okay, so you decided to make your last name plural. Let's go over the rules!

  • For most names, add an -s to make them plural.
  • For names that end in ch, s, sh, x, and z, add -es to make them plural.

*There is an exception to this rule: If your last name ends in ch but is pronounced with a hard /k/ sound, like the word monarch, add only an -s rather than -es.

Singular Last Name
Plural Last Name
The Waldmans
The Kennedys
The Marshes
The Reichs
The Jacobses
The Sanchezes

Now that you have the plural form of your last name, give yourself a pat on the back. Simply add the word the in front of your plural last name, and you're done!

The final step is a reminder for you to resist temptation.

Step 3: Never Use An Apostrophe To Make Your Name Plural

If you feel unsure about how to make your last name plural, you may feel an itch to add an apostrophe. Resist that urge! I say this in the most loving way possible: We never use apostrophes to make last names plural.

Happy Holidays! 

The Jones's = No

The Jones' = Nope

The Joneses = Yes

The Jones Family = Yes

If you don't like the way  your last name looks in its plural form (The Joneses), use the singular form plus the word family (The Jones Family).

If you'd like to teach or learn grammar the easy way—with sentence diagrams—check out our Get Smart Grammar Program.

It starts from the very beginning and teaches you grammar and sentence diagramming in easy, bite-size lessons. 

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Elizabeth O'Brien

Hello! I'm Elizabeth O'Brien, and my goal is to get you jazzed about grammar. 

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