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Today, we are going to have a quick refresher on how to make names plural in your craft products. I see so many errors online in products for sale. Quite frankly, misspelled products are pretty embarrassing! Here’s what you need to know.
How to Make a Last Name Plural
- When should you make names plural?
- When you are talking about more than one person with the same last name.
- In most cases, to make a name plural you add an S.
- Johnson becomes Johnsons.
- Smith becomes Smiths.
- Hall becomes Halls.
- Exceptions: To make names that end in S, X, Z, CH, or SH plural you add ES.
- Hernandez becomes Hernandezes.
- Mitch becomes Mitches.
- Holmes becomes Holmeses.
- You never use an apostrophe when you are talking about more than one person with the same last name.
When to Use an Apostrophe
- An apostrophe shows possession, and is only used when you are referring to something that someone owns. To show possession add ‘S. This is called a singular possessive.
- Mrs. Schinagl’s house is beautiful.
- Mr. White’s car is blue.
- Ms. Patterson’s neighbor had a baby.
- Exceptions: When a last name ends in S, you can either add ‘S or just an apostrophe (‘). Grammatically speaking, both are correct.
- Name: Pattersons. We ate at Mrs. Pattersons’s house or we ate at Mrs. Pattersons’ house.
- Name: Sanders. We rode in Mr. Sanders’s car or we rode in Mr. Sanders’ car.
- What if you need to use a plural and an apostrophe in the same name?
- First, make the name plural; then make it possessive. This is called plural possessive.
- When writing about the house of the Roberts family: We went to the Robertses’ house. First I made the name plural (Robertses) then I added an apostrophe to show that I was talking about their house.
Plural versus Singular Possessive versus Plural Possessive
Another example before you go:
Last name: Robinson.
The Robinsons invited us to a party at their house. (Only plural, refers to more than one person with the last name Robinson.)
We went to Mrs. Robinson’s house. (Singular possessive. Talking about a house owned by a person.)
We went to the Robinsons’ house. (Plural possessive. Talking about more than one Robinson and their house.)
It’s a Good Idea to Verify with the Customer
When creating personalized products for customers that have exceptions related to their names, it is always a good idea to ask specifically how they want their name to appear. For example, the Jones family may not want the name to read The Joneses. As an alternative, you can avoid the plural by using The Jones Family.
Save the image below to Pinterest so you can find it when you need it.
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.