Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to make your family name PLURAL for holiday greetings

Hello and Happy Holiday Season from VocabLady!

Perhaps you are preparing to send out holiday cards and invitations. I hope so; I love getting mail (hint, hint). Here are some tips on handling your family’s last name. I know, it's not really vocabulary, but it's important

1. Are you just saying “Happy ChrisKwanzHannuNewYear from the Smiths”? Then all you need is a PLURAL. Follow these steps:

A.    Add -s to your last name, as I did for the Smiths.

Examples: The Turners. The Simons. The Gagas.

B.     …unless your last name ends in an -s sound already, as in the letters s, z, x, ch, or sh. Then add -es, just like you would for any word like that, such as boxes or glitches.

Examples: The Lucases, The Schwartzes, The Foxes, The Fitches, The Galoshes. (I couldn’t think of a last name that ended in -sh.)

C.     NEVER, under any circumstances use an apostrophe!!!

2. However, are you saying or implying something about your home? Welcome to the Smiths’, for example? That’s really “welcome to the Smiths’ HOME,” and in that case, you MUST use an apostrophe to create a PLURAL POSSESSIVE. The apostrophe goes after the plural formed above, in part 1.


  • You’re invited to the Flatts’ annual Egg Nog Fest.
  • Please come help us decorate the tree at the Hugheses’.
  • Welcome to the Millses’!

WRAP UP: It’s that simple: add -s or -es; only add an apostrophe when referring to your home (or something else your family possesses). Happy HanKwanLangSyneMas, everyone! And to all a good night.