Apostrophes and Plural Names (with Examples)

Our Story

Apostrophes and the Plurals of Names

Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of a name. For example:
  • The Smith's are in town.
  • (Smiths )
  • Did you visit the Ford's yesterday?
  • (Fords )
  • The Bates's will attend the party.
  • (Bateses )
  • Can you ask the Alverez's to move their cars?
  • (Alverezes )

For the Possessive Case, Treat a Plural Name Like Any Other Plural Noun

When showing possession, treat a plural surname like any other plural noun. For example:
  • The Joneses' house
  • (The house of the Joneses)
  • The angels' share
  • (The share of the angels)
When an apostrophe is needed to show the possessive form of a plural family name (e.g., Smiths, Fords, Bateses, Alverezes), the name is treated just like any other plural noun that ends in s. For example:
  • The Smiths' cat has gone missing.
  • (Smiths' is the possessive form of the plural proper noun Smiths.)
  • Have you seen the Fords' new car?
  • (Fords' is the possessive form of Fords.)
  • The Bateses' holiday was ruined by the weather.
  • (Bateses' is the possessive form of Bates.)
  • Take these scones to the Alverezes' house.
  • (Alverezes' is the possessive form of Alverezes.)

Remember, to form the plural of any ending s or z, add -es. Thereafter, apply the normal rules to create the possessive form.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

Using apostrophes Apostrophes for possession Apostrophe placement rules Apostrophe after s Apostrophe after z Apostrophe before s Apostrophes for awkward plurals Apostrophes after acronyms and abbreviations Apostrophes in contractions Apostrophes in expressions like 2 years' pay and a day's notice Apostrophes used incorrectly for plurals Apostrophe exercises Apostrophe misuse Apostrophes in contractions Using apostrophes Using brackets and parentheses Using colons Using commas Using dashes Using hyphens Using quotation marks Using semicolons