Submitted by jenny on August 17, 2004

Plural s-ending Possessives

If there is a family with the last name of Jones, and you want to talk about the family, you say the Joneses. But what if you want to talk about something that belongs to them. Is it “I’m going to the Joneses’ for dinner?” Because that would be pronounced Jonziziz.

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The family Jones has a house. It is the Jones's (Joneziz) house. You are going there to visit the Joneses (Joneziz). Each member of the family has their own individual name, and you ask your friend, who knows the family, what the Joneses' (Joneziz) names (namez) are.

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That was intended to be an illustration. Jenny, nobody ever says "Joneziziz." Just say "Joneziz."

That's what you get when you overanalyze... which I do, all the time. :)

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From what I was taught in college, you don't add the extra 'z' sound to a possessive name already ending with a 'z' sound.

Correct sentences the way I was taught:

I am going over to the Jones' house tonight. (pronounced exactly like the last name.)

Same with a singular: I saw Jesus' tomb. (no extra 'z' sound at the end... pronounced just like Jesus.)

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my last name is kloss. Questions for this last name ending in s:

If I am using plural is it, The Klosses?

Is possessive correct like this: that is the Kloss's cat.

thank you-

ownie

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Yes, "Klosses" is right for more than one family member. But the kitty belonging to the family is "the Klosses' cat." If she was just your kitty, for example, that's when she'd be "Ownie Kloss's cat."

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I suppose I should mention that I was taught to pronounce the extra syllable, contrary to what Brad's teacher held. Maybe it is different in different English-speaking regions. I've never had my pronunciation corrected, though.

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A tiny correction on Brad's comment:

Adding -'s to a possessive noun is always acceptable, even if the noun ends in -s with the "z" sound. As Diana Hacker in A Writer's Reference (sorry, I can't underline or italicize) says, "Exception: If pronunciation would be awkward with the added -'s, some writers use only the apostrophe. Either use is acceptable."

Speedwell has already indirectly corrected Brad's first example, but I just want to make it a little clearer. Since the Joneses own the house, it is no longer an issue of possession but plurality. Once we establish that a family of Joneses and not one Jones owns the house, we cannot reduce the "Joneses" to "Jones" again when making "Joneses" possessive. Thus, the correct possessive, plural form is "Joneses'."

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Speedwell, I have a question for you. In the first post, you say, "The family Jones has a house. It is the Jones's... house." Later in your third post, you say, "...the kitty belonging to the family [Klosses] is "the Klosses' cat."

Does this discrepancy result from an unintentional mistake in your first post, or is there something special about houses?

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The Jones' House. (Jonesiz)
I was talking to two of the Joneses. (Jonesiz)
What are each of the Joneses' (or Jones') names? (Jonesiz or Jonesesiz -- as a native English speaker, I wouldn't notice the difference between the two)

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"The Jones' house" doesn't make any sense; that's like saying "the Smith' house" or "the Lee' house."

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I need some help. I am looking to get a welcome sign for my door that says... The Romanos or is it The Romanoes? I have looked around and found if a noun ends in O with a consanant before it, add as s. If there is a vowel before it add as es. Is this also true for Proper names? Please help. I don't want to order a sign with the incorrect spelling!
THANKS!!

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I'm guessing with a name like Romano, you're of Italian extraction. So if I were you I'd use Romanoes, even if that's technically incorrect, if only because Romanos looks an awful lot like a Mexican name ;)

P.S. this is not to imply that I have anything against Mexican names - my ganddaughter's last name is Mendoza - just that it would give an erroneous indication of your nationality.

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what would the plural of Rodgers be? Would it be Rodgers or Rodgerses? The latter just doesn't sound right.

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How do you write the possessive form of
Gallois?

Is it the Gallois' ?

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pluralize this last name. Thanks a bunch, dude.

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I was taught the same method as Ben by my stickler of an English teacher. My last name is Ellis so I paid extra attention to that lesson!
The Ellis' house.
(pronounced Ellises)

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I want a sign for our front door.
Our last name is Weiss.

Would it be The Weisses?
Looks weird!

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Dawne, I can understand your confusion, but I think your question has already been answered. You could write The Weisses, or The Weisses' ( or just Weiss's?). All are "correct" but mean different things. It depends what you are trying to convey. The Weisses means that you are simply announcing the presence of the Weiss family, plural, more than one Weiss. The Weisses' means that you are identifying the property itself, as in The Weisses' Home, with "Home" only implied. I suppose if there were only one Weiss, he could sign his house "Weiss's" or even "Weiss", or if he were quite conceited, "The Weiss".

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We want to put a sign on the front of our house. It is now just my wife and I that live here and we are wondering how to spell the last name of CROSS. Would it be Cross', or Crosses, or Crosses', or Cross's, or Cross'es or some other combination. Thanks for your help.

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My daughter is a school teacher and needs a sign made for her classroom door. Would "Ms. Cross's Room" be correct?

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So if I want to make a Christmas card that says "The Jones' First Christmas," is the punctuation correct the way I wrote it?

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Hi. I want to pluralize my son's family's last name (Szarkowicz) for a plaque. Do I write "The Szarkowiczes" or "The Szarkowiczs"? I believe the former is the correct way, but I want to make sure. I'm also having one made for my sister whose last name is Evers. Am I correct in assuming there is no added suffix and it should be written as "The Evers"? Thanks for your help.

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What would plural be for family name Kardish? Kardishes? Thanks!

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I've never seen an example where the last name ends in an "I". For example Minelli. I want to sign a card, The Minellis, and I know that isn't right. I also know that The Minellies isn't right either. I have to use an apostrophe even though there is no possession, right? Just signing a Christmas card for our family. Help!

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I think this will clear the question up... If you were talking about a house belonging to the Smith family (the Smiths), you wouldn't say, "the Smithziz house." You would just say, "the Smithz house." Following this thread, you wouldn't say, "Joneziziz." You would just say, "Joneziz."

Did that help?

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hello i am wanting to put a sign at the end of my farm yard that reads the farm name "DenBar Farms" and then under it " The Schultz's" as in this is the Schultz's farm, is this the right way to right this, do not want to show the public my lack of knowledge???

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i want to present 2 scenarios.
(1) i have to list several defendants. two of the defedants have the same last name. no kin to one another
(2) i have to list several defendants. the two who have the same name are married to one anothr.

please advise of the appropriate rule(s)

(defendants not married)
Wherefore, Defendants Baileys, Jordan and Thompson are in the court room.

Wherefore, Defendants Bailey, Bailey, Jordan and Thompson are in the court room.

(defendants married)
Wherefore, Defendants the Baileys, Jordan and Thompson are in the court room.

Wherefore, Defendants Baileys, Jordan and Thompson are in the court room.

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Hi, I want to make a plaque for our RV that reads - The Fox's Jeanie & Tommy. Should the last name read Foxes or Fox's.

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My soon to be last name will be Geis. I am wanting to have a sign made that says "The Geis
established September 27, 2008, but I am not sure since our last name ends in s if I would add an apostrophe at the end of the name The Geis'
established September 27, 2008

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All right people, one last time:

Last names that end in s are not plural, therefore the following rules apply:
1. More than one Jones is Joneses
2. Anything belonging to one Jones is Jones's
3. Anything belonging to more than one Jones is Joneses'

Got it? Please see the following websites for more info:
http://www.getitwriteonline.com/archive/062501.htm
http://creativeservices.iu.edu/resources/guide/... (scroll down to the section on Possessives)

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Good lord, I spelled Grammar wrong on my first post.

At any rate...
Michelle your sign should read, "The Geises, established September 27, 2008."

Congratulations

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Hey Grammar Geek, for singular possessives ending in "s", especially names, some add just an apostrophe and others add an apostrophe followed by an "s". Style and grammar guides disagree or list it as optional as long as you're consistent. By the way, the very sources you quote both say this. You should read them before you post.

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How do you make the last name "Meadows" plural? Would you keep it The Meadows? Or would it be The Meadowses? That doesn't sound right.

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For the love of God and all things holy... no matter what you do, PLEASE don't hang those signs on your door or mailbox that say "The Jones's"... or "The Smith's" unless of course you are trying to say, "Hey! My last name is Jones/Smith and this is MY mailbox!" If in fact you mean to say, "My entire family lives here, our last name is Jones/Smith and this is OUR house!" then put "The Joneses" or "The Smiths" on the sign. As in more than one Jones or Smith lives there. The apostrophe does NOT make it plural.

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Actually, English Teacher, I think you contradicted yourself there. If you want to say that "...my entire family lives here..." then, yes, you should say "The Smiths" or "The Joneses". But, if you really want to say "...this is OUR house!" (your words, not mine) then you should add an apostrophe (or 's) at the end to express possession - The Smiths', etc. Of course, actually implying possession is not the norm, so the apostrophe shouldn't be there at all. "The Smith's" would be incorrect, as you said. I suppose, if a man named Smith lived alone, and he really wanted to use the possessive, He could have just plain "Smith's", as in "Smith's place". Well, OK, he could have "The Smith's" if his ego were really big and he thought of himself as THE Smith. Now I'm just being silly.

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Nobody mentioned the use of a surname with a house when the house is historic or even when it's not: the Bangs House, the Wilder House, the Jefferson House. Then you don't have to worry about plurals or apostrophes.

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I am wording an invitation for a birthday.The name is Pujals.Do I write Joe Pujals'30th birthday or Joe Pujals's 30th birthday?

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At what point do you feel like you've answered the same question 40-bzillion times, here?

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I am wanting to get a picture for my mother-in law for christmas. At the top of the picture it says: Our Family Tree and at the bottom is where we put our last name which is James. My mother-in law is a retired English teacher so I want to get this right. Would it be The Jameses or The Jameses'? Please help!

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My daughter recently married and her surname is Elenbaas. I want to purchase an engraved Christmas gift (1) for both of them. Would it be The Elenbaases or The Elenbaases' ? Time is short please help. Or could it be The Elenbaas' Family?

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Our name is french. The s is silent so Cazes rhymes with Jazz. How do I make is possesive, plural, possessive plural and how do I pronounce each?
thanks!

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I think this is very confusing and to those of you who think the question has been answered 40 bzillion times..I am sorry. For me, I have been told several different ways of using the correct form of spelling for a persons last name. And I am still baffled after reading all of this. So here is my question and all I need to know is yes or no.

I am making something for a friend and the last name is Jones.

EX:

The Joneses
Est. 12-12-99

and

The Smiths
Est 5-31-97

Are these correct? If not, how would these particular names be done.

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Yes, if you mean to say that particular family was established on that date. Or, if you're refering to the house it's self, then I would put an " ' " after the" s " to show possession. The Joneses, refering to more than one Jones living there; The Joneses', refering to their house. Either is acceptable.

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The same goes for The Smiths or The Smiths'.

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THIS IS WONDERFUL

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George's and Lisa's Engagement

I'm not thinking this is correct. Let me know thx!

George and Lisas' perhaps?

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It's George and Lisa's Engagement (for a couple, the last name listed only needs to be made possessive and since you are only one person when saying "Lisa", you put the apostrophe before the s). By the way, congratulations!

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What is the plural name for Rodgers? Is it Rodgers'?

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Our last name is Fish. I know, I married into it!! Anyway, how do you pluralize it? Fishes or Fish's? Like, on a sign, Welcome to the Fish's ?? It doesn't end in an "s" but it ends in the "s" sound.
Also, when some of our friends talk about us they say, "We're going out with the Fish tonight". I laugh and correct them and say, "The Fish's". I'm pretty sure that's correct. Let me know.
Thks

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I think it's Fishes, whether on a sign or when people are talking about you. Definitely no apostrophe, if you're not talking about possession. To pluralize Fish, I'd just say Fishes. And if something belongs to you two, I gather from previous comments that it would be the Fishes', pronounced "fishez." I think I'd pronounce it "fishezez," but I think I'd be wrong.

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Jenny, either pronunciation is correct. Fish, you beat me to the punch, but if it were my last name, I'd probably pluralize it as Fish.

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Okay, so our last name is Dodaro. When writing a card, I need to know the proper grammar to say when signing it at the end: " Love, The Dodaro's " OR do I say " Love, The Dodaros " ???

Thanks so much!! :)

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For those struggling with what to write on the sign in the front yard or on the welcoming mat, make your lives simple by writing: "The Romano Family" or "The Weiss Family." This may not naturally occur to a non-native speaker, but is perfectly acceptable and common in the English language. (It even, in my opinion, adds a homy touch).

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Mr. and Mrs. Merrill are married and jointly write a newspaper column. Clearly, we will say

the Merrills' newspaper column

But as an extension of plural possession, which is correct and why:

Mr. and Mrs. Merrill's newspaper column

or

Mr. and Mrs. Merrills' newspaper column

Can the "oneness" of this couple be expressed legitimately in "Mr. and Mrs. Merrill's newspaper column"

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Ted, it would be "Mr. and Mrs. Merrill’s newspaper column".

Think of it this way. You wouldn't have a problem with the "oneness" of Mr. and Mrs. Merrill, without possesion, would you? It would be:

"I would like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Merrill"

or

"I would like to introduce the Merrills"

but not

"I would like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Merrills"

right?

Possesion doesn't make any difference in this case.

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I'm making return address lables, and my last name is English

Would it be...

The English's
1111 South St.

or

The Englishes
1111 South St.

please help I don't want to send the wrong one out, these are going on my wedding thank you cards

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Hi -
I really think it should be written like this:

The Englishs
1111 South St.

or if there is enough space, I would write 'family' after it...like this:

The English Family
1111 South St.

I think if you have an apostrophe s (like this The English's, it shows ownership, such as The English's dog is outside)...

Hope this helps... :)

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Do you add an s to the following: The Women of Lady Mansions present (or presents).

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Kelsey: It should be The Englishes, and here's a source: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-gr...
Lynne: No s is needed, and it should be "present," so the way you have it written is right.

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Hi Jenny P - What if the last name is Danko... Do I say thank you, from the Dankos or Dankoes or Danko's or Dankos'?? lol

Thanks

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Hi Lizzie,
It would just be the Dankos. Something that belongs to your family would be the Dankos' or the Dankos's.

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I need to confirm the correct plural possessive form of the proper noun "Shuman," as in "the residence of the Shuman family," of whom there are clearly more than one.

My supervisor says it's "the Shuman's residence."

I say it's "the Shumans' residence."

What say you?

Many thanks!

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Emmalissa, you are correct. "...the Shuman's..." would be singular possessive, as if there were only one Shuman living there, but one so famous that he or she would be not just any Shuman, but THE Shuman.

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The Adams Family would be the Adams family.

The Adams house would be the Adams's house.

Multiple Adams would be the Adams'

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I can't believe my eyes, talk about the blind leading the blind! I've just read dozens of posts on this topic and virtually nobody has the faintest idea what they're talking about. If you need advice on punctuation this sure ain't the place to get it!

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I am making our x-mas cards and our last name is Gonzalez. How do I write it - Gonzalez' or Gonzalez's?

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"I am making our x-mas cards and our last name is Gonzalez. How do I write it - Gonzalez' or Gonzalez's?"

You could write "The Gonzalezs" but that would look odd.

Avoid this mess by writing "The Gonzalez Family".

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When a name ends in 's', you add an 'es' to make it plural. Ex: Joneses. "I'm going to visit the Joneses." To make a name that ends in an 's' possessive, you simply add an apostrophe to the end of the name. You can do this whether it's a single person or a family whose name ends in 's'. But you must keep it consistent, according to the following article:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/possessi...

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this doesnt make any sense

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My husband and I have been married for over 2 years and I have yet to figure this out. Our last name is Hess. I am fixing to work on Christmas cards since we are a military family and we have friends and family stationed/living all over. I have read different way on writing the Hess plural. This is so confusing. Which on is proper: The Hesses, The Hess' or The Hess's? Please help!!

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For a simple plural, definitely no apostrophe; I would go for the Hesses, as in grass / grasses, 'es' being the regular plural after a double s. Then if you wanted to talk about something the family owned you can simply add an apostrophe - the Hesses' house. Compare:

Eliot Ness - "Ness remarried in 1939, to illustrator Evaline Michelow. The Nesses moved to Washington, D.C. in 1942 where he worked for the federal government" (Wikipedia)

Burness - "The Land of the Burnesses" (Burness Genealogy and Family History)

Snodgrass - the Snodgrasses - "The Snodgrasses' El Reno home is covered in angling - from the rods in one living-room corner to the swimming-fish designs on throw pillows that cover the ..." (NewsOK.com)

Hess - "The Hesses . Murten and Wilma Hess of Mapleton celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday at Evangelical Church." (Google News)

The Hesses - blog of Daren Hess (edehess.blogspot.com)

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my last name is Andrus...my brother wants to open a bike shop would it be spelled Andrus'.....or Andrus's

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Gus's book, the Angus's car, Andrus's bike shop. You'll find plenty examples of "the Angus's" in Google.

The only people who have the 's regularly dropped after s are biblical figures, or figures from antiquity. So I don't think bridgwaterblitz's Jesus' tomb example was particularly valid, as this is usually regarded as an exception.

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