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How Do You Make a Last Name Plural?

Wondering how to make your last name plural? Don't worry, it's not difficult, but the proper way to pluralize your name might be different than what you'd expect. Use our easy flow chart to learn how to properly pluralize your name.

Your Checklist to Making Your Last Name Plural:

  • Add an "es" if your last name ends in an s, ch, sh, x, or z.
  • Add an "s" if your last name ends in any other letter.
  • Do not add "ies" to last names ending in "y".
  • Never add an apostrophe to pluralize your last name.

How to Pluralize a Last Name Ending in "s"

For most last names, when making them plural, all you need to do is add an "s". Smith would become the Smiths, and Johnson would become the Johnsons. If your last name already ends in an "s" like "Stevens" or "Adams" all you would need to do is add an "es". Stevens would become the Stevenses and Adams would become the Adamses.

It's really that simple, but when it comes to pluralizing last names ending in "s", it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming you don't need to add anything since "The Adams" already sounds plural. Just remember, if you're going to make it plural, always end it with an "s" but if there's already an "s" add an "es" to the end.

Do You Use an Apostrophe When Making a Last Name Plural?

You might not have given much thought to your family name plural, and why would you? There's only one of you and you rarely call your family by their last name. If talking to a friend, you would probably say "my family is going out to eat" not "the Smiths are going out to eat", so you can forgive yourself for not being confident in how to pluralize your last name. There are several common mistakes people fall into when saying or writing down their family names.

"One of the most common mistakes is using an apostrophe. While you might feel inclined to throw an apostrophe (or 's) at the end of the last name ending with an "s" like Adams' or Adams's...don't do it! Apostrophes indicate possession and should not be used when pluralizing a name!"

Another common mistake is, if your name ends with an "s", just leaving the name as is. For example, the last name Adams might be referred to as simply "the Adams". In reality, the correct way would be "the Adamses" (as weird as that might look and sound).

An Easy Work-Around

The rules for making a name plural aren't complicated but they can be difficult to remember. However, there are two simple yet creative ways to work around it to avoid the issue entirely. One way to go about this is to simply say "the___ Family". Instead of worrying about whether you should say the Adams or Adamses you can just say "the Adams Family". Another way to avoid frustration when pluralizing a name is to spell out you and your partner's first and last name, such as "Jill & Brian Williams".


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