Pluralizing Last Names

WRITTEN October 15, 2015 Author: Rich Atkins

Do you know the correct methods for Pluralizing Last Names?


Making the plural form of a proper name  can be challenge without this information. Use it to be spot-on, and be able to handle someone else’s name with the greatest of respect (by getting its plural form correct!).

Last letter(s) of last name What to add to make it plural? Does it need an apostrophe?
a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h (see exceptions below), i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, t, u, v, w, y -s NO
s, x, z, ch, sh -es NO
Chart from Kate Brannon of


For last names that end in –y, add “s.” Do not add “ies” or an apostrophe.

Example: The Cantys will join us for dinner.

For last names that end in –s, add “es.” Do not add an apostrophe.

Example: The Atkinses went on vacation


For last names that end with what may seem like irregular nouns, they are not treated like irregular nouns when they are part of a last name.
Example: The Glickmans had dinner with the Wolfs (NOT the Glickmen and the Wolves).


Apostrophes are NOT used to make last names plural, but can be used to make them possessive.

  • The Goodwins’ house was used in a movie. [Plural Possessive]
  • Rayna Hennen’s Company provides excellent service. [Possessive]
  • The Filorimos wish you a Happy New Year. [Plural]
  • Let’s go visit the Hertzes. [Plural]

While pluralizing last names can be a tricky task – make sure your holiday cards and correspondence are all handled correctly!

This information is from our Business Writing curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.



Other Resources:

How to Make Last Names Plural this Christmas Season


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