Apostrophe after Z (with Examples)
Apostrophe after ZThis page is about whether to use 's (apostrophe s) or just ' (just an apostrophe) to show the possessive form of a noun that ends with a z. In other words, it is about whether to write:
- Gomez' attitude, or
- Gomez's attitude
Forming the Possessive with a Noun Ending ZHere is the quick answer:
- Gomez' attitude
- Gomez's attitude
- Gomez's ball
- Gonzalez's house
- Gutierrez's brother
- Hernandez's dog
- Lopez's way
- Perez's garden
Some More Examples with an Apostrophe after ZHere are some more examples of nouns ending z in the possessive case:
- These are Dr. Sanchez's patients.
- The questions are full of unpronounceable words because the quiz's real purpose is to embarrass the host.
Why Is There Confusion over Z's and Z'?Confusion arises because the possessive form of singular nouns that end s (e.g., Moses, series, Wales) can be shown by adding 's or just '.
The general rule for those nouns is write their possessive forms how you would pronounce them. For example:
- Jones' report is terrible. (This is for those people who pronounce it Jones.)
- Jones's report is terrible. (This is for those people who pronounce it Jonesiz.)
Read more about the possessive forms of singular nouns ending s.
The Possessive Form of a Plural Noun Ending ZThe plural of a noun ending z is formed by adding es. Sometimes, the z is doubled before the es is added. This is standard. For example:
- quiz becomes quizzes
- topaz becomes topazes
- Mr. Lopez is the father of the Lopezes
- The quizzes' origins are well documented. (This relates to "the origins of several quizzes" (i.e., quizzes is plural).)
- The Lopezes' dog has been found. (This relates to "the dog of the Lopez family" (i.e., Lopezes is plural).)
The History of the Possessive ApostropheThe main function of the apostrophe is to replace a missing letter (e.g., aren't, don't). You might not have realized it, but this is related to the possessive apostrophe. (e.g., Sarah's house, the robbers' haul)
In old English, possession was shown by adding "es" to the noun regardless of whether it was singular or plural. For example:
- doges dinner
- dogses dinner
- childrenes dinner
- Sanchezes dinner
If you use this process today, you will be right every time. There are no exceptions.