Are you unsure of how to show the plural or possessive of certain names? Maybe you already know to write I met the Wilsons, drove Brenda Wilson’s Ferrari, and visited the Wilsons’ house. But what if the name is Cortez or Beach or Michaels?
Rule: If you want to show the plural of a name that ends with a z, ch, or s sound, add es. If a name ends with ch but is pronounced with a hard k sound, its plural will need s rather than es.
The Cortezes will be here soon.
The Thomases moved away.
The Beaches have arrived, but the Roderichs are going to be late.
Rule: If you want to show singular possession of a name ending in ch, add an ’s on the end of the name.
Lisa March’s house
Rule: Some writers simply add an apostrophe to show singular possession of a name ending in s or z. Others will add another s.
Mr. Roberts’ car OR Mr. Roberts’s car
Rosa Gomez’s husband
Rule: If you want to show plural possession of a name ending in z, ch, or s, form the plural first, then instantly use the apostrophe.
the Robertses’ car
the Marches’ house
the Gomezes’ children
Select the correct proper noun in each sentence below. The original proper noun will be in parentheses.
1. I’m going to marry Mr. Reyes’/Reyeses’/Reyes’s daughter. (Reyes)
2. The Ruiz’/Ruizes’/Ruiz’s dog bit the mailman. (Ruiz)
3. My sons can’t seem to get enough of Laurel Branches/Branches’/Branch’s meatloaf. (Branch)
4. The Ames/Amess/Ameses arrive home from holiday on Saturday. (Ames)
Pop Quiz Answers
1. I’m going to marry Ms. Reyes’s daughter. (OR Ms. Reyes’ daughter)
2. The Ruizes’ dog bit the mailman.
3. My sons can’t seem to get enough of Laurel Branch’s meatloaf.
4. The Ameses arrive home from holiday On Saturday.
Related: Got questions? Here are a few other blog posts on this essential topic:
Apostrophe Help Please! Review the rules of apostrophe use.
Whistler’s Apostrophe Challenge Test yourself on 15 signs in Whistler, British Columbia.
Do Not Use Apostrophes to Make Plurals Learn when it is acceptable to use apostrophes to form plurals.
Seattle Seahawks Apostrophe Test Take an apostrophe test for football fans.
Clinton’s and Sanders’s Apostrophes Find out whether to add just an apostrophe or an apostrophe and an s.
Its? It’s? Or Its’? You can guess what this one is about.