Photo shows a toy truck in the snow with a Chrstimas tree in the bed

How to pluralize your last name for your holiday cards

Ahhh, it’s that time of the year again! Christmas decorations are springing up, the weather is getting chilly, and it’s time to send out your holiday cards. And, if you’re anything like me, you are proofreading the cards you receive in the mail. Ok, you’re probably not like me. But here’s an easy way to make sure you’re pluralizing your last name correctly:

  1. NEVER add an apostrophe. Apostrophes are only used to form possessive nouns (the dog’s bowl) and contractions (don’t add an apostrophe). They are rarely used to form a plural noun (and this is not one of those cases).
  2. If your last name ends in any of these combinations, add an “es” to the end:
    • s, x, z, ch, sh (e.g., Mr. and Mrs. Bush would become the Bushes).
    • There is only one exception to this rule: If your last name ends in a ch, but is pronounced with a ‘k’ sound, you only need to add an “s” to the end (e.g., Mr. and Mrs. Bach would become the Bachs).
  3. If your last name ends in any other letter of the alphabet, just add an “s” to the end.

Examples:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith –> the Smiths
Mr. and Mrs. Russo –> the Russos
Mr. and Mrs. Brooks –> the Brookses
Mr. and Mrs. Martinez –> the Martinezes
Mr. and Mrs. Cox –> the Coxes
Mr. and Mrs. Jones –> the Joneses
Mr. and Mrs. Woods –> the Woodses
(What about if I wanted to talk about this family’s car? That’s when you add the apostrophe. “Have you seen the Woodses’ new car? It’s much nicer than the Russos’ new car!”)

I know what you’re thinking. That looks strange! It can’t be right! Trust me. It is.

Be confident when sending out your cards this year!

Happy Holidays from the Hartwells