How to Make Your Last Name Plural (Learn Which Mistakes to Avoid)
Making Family Names Plural
Can you spot the grammatical error in this sentence?
Many people make this common error when making family names plural.
So, how do you make your family name (last name) plural? Does the spelling change? Should it have an apostrophe? (This is an apostrophe => ’ )
These are the questions we will answer today.
When Do I Need to Make a Family Name Plural?
In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the part of one’s personal name that indicates their family, tribe, or community. In American English, we usually refer to the family name as one’s last name.
A family name is a proper noun. A proper noun names something specific in English and is always capitalized no matter where it falls in the sentence
Sometimes we need to make a family name plural to refer to the family in a sentence.
- The Smiths invited us to dinner tomorrow night.
- The Joneses have 5 children.
- Congratulations to the Murphys on their new baby boy!
Many people also like to use their family name on Christmas cards or on signs in front of their homes.
How Do I Make My Last Name Plural?
For most family names, you can simply add an s to make them plural.
- Smith - Smiths
- Johnson - Johnsons
- Brown - Browns
- Miller - Millers
- Kennedy - Kennedys
For last names ending in y, do not drop the y and add an ies as you would with common nouns. Simply add an s.
- Kennedys - not Kennedies
- Murphys - no Murphies
For names that end in ch, s, sh, x, and z, add an es to make them plural.
- Williams - Williamses
- Jones - Joneses
- Fox - Foxes
- Martinez - Martinezes
- Finch - Finches
- Rush - Rushes
It’s that easy!
Now that you have the plural form of your name, simply add the word the in front of your plural last name, and you’re done.
- The Williamses
- The Rushes
- The Smiths
- The Johnsons
Learn more about English plural nouns with English Plural Nouns: A step-by-step Guide. This booklet is also available as a free bonus in any of the following products:
- English Short Stories, Volume 2, Emma and Jerry
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Should I Use an Apostrophe to Make My Name Plural?
Never use an apostrophe to make a name plural.
These examples are NOT correct!
With names, apostrophes are used to show possession. You can make the plural form possessive by adding an apostrophe at the end.
- The Williamses’ children go to our school.
- The Finches’ car is blue.
- The Millers’ dogs were in their yard.
- The Kennedys’ house is on Elm Street.
Use the rules above to make each family name plural.
Choose the correct spelling in each sentence. The family name is noted before the sentence.
- (Johnson) The Johnsons/Johnson’s traveled to Europe in June.
- (Hernandez) The donation was made by the Hernandez’s/Hernandezes.
- (Lee) Happy Holidays from the Lee’s/Lees.
- (Miller) We vacationed with the Millerses/Millers last year.
- (Young) The Youngs’/Youngs were stuck at the airport.
- (White) The White’s/Whites’ cat is missing.
- (Harrs) I have never seen the Harrises’/Harris’s children.
- (Fry) Is that the Fries’/Frys’ grandmother?
- (Adams) Did you invite the Adamses/Adams to the wedding?
- (Rose) The Rose’s/Roses have 6 grandchildren.