GrammarPhile Blog

How to Write Your Family Name on a Christmas or Greeting Card

Posted by Sara Richmond   Dec 20, 2023 11:23:45 AM

According to urban legend, plural words were invented by Grog, a caveman, in 12,000 B.C., to help him ask for more than one donut at his local coffee shop.

He added an “s” to emphasize his strong desire for a baker’s dozen, and the rest is history.

For those of you who weren’t alive during that time, here are the rules for pluralizing family names, beginning with the rules for pluralizing English nouns and proper nouns.

(If you’re an “I don’t care why, just tell me how” sort of person, then skip to the “Plural Family Names” section below. If you’re an “I want to know why so that I’ll always know how” sort of person, then read the whole shebang over the next four minutes of your life.)

Regular Plural Words

  • Add “s”: For most words, the plural form is made by adding an “s.”
    • Examples: horse – horses, dog – dogs, tree – trees, ladder – ladders, paper – papers, gnome – gnomes.
  • Add “es”: For plural words ending in the sound /iz/, add “es.”
    • Examples: dish – dishes, fox – foxes, match – matches, crash – crashes, pass – passes, bus – buses, quiz – quizzes.
    • Notice that we double the final consonant to protect the short vowel in some words (ex: fuse – fuses but fuss – fusses).
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Topics: possessives of proper nouns

Possessives - Proper Nouns

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Apr 24, 2012 6:30:00 AM

Last week, we gave you some general rules on possessives. This week, let's focus on possessives of proper nouns.

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Topics: possessives of proper nouns, possessive form, possessives

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