How to Use Apostrophes in Names

There are check grammar online free tools that you can use to know if you correctly write the apostrophe or not. It is also important to know about rules in using apostrophes in names so that you will not have a hard time in writing.

Apostrophes in Names Rules

You will use apostrophe with “s” for possessive singular nouns: You will use the apostrophe with the letter “s” in showing possessive form of the singular noun, even if the singular noun is ending with the letter “s”.

For example:

  • Harold’s crayon
  • Dennis Plath’s poetry
  • Big Jones’s game show
  • Peter Thomas’s report
  • Grace Beckham’s husband

You will use apostrophe without the letter “s” for possessives of plural nouns: In forming possessive of plural noun that is already ending with the letter “s”, you will only need to add the apostrophe.

For instance:

  • Johnsons’ café ( in here, possessive apostrophes tell that the care belongs to the Johnsons), (if plural noun doesn’t end with the letter “s”, you need to add apostrophe with “s”.
  • Children’s clothes ( the clothes belongs to the children)
  • Women’s meeting (the meeting belongs to the women)

Check Punctuation: Pluralized Family Name

apostrophes in names

If you want to know more about using apostrophes with names, this page will guide you. If you want possessive of pluralized family name, you need to pluralize the first and simply make name possessive using the apostrophe.

For example:

Smiths’ car, Joneses’ home. Usually, if the last name is ending with hard “z”, you will not add “-es” or “s”. What you only need to do is to add apostrophes in plurals such as the Chambers’.

When it comes to compound possessives, the placement of the apostrophe will depend whether nouns are acting together or separately.

For example:

Cecilia’s and Danny’s old cars are in their basement.

using apostrophes with names

image credit: wageningenur.nl

(It means that every of them have 1 old car and in terms of ownership, it is a separate matter.)

Cecilia and Danny’s old cars are in their basement.

(This tells that Cecilia and Danny are sharing ownership on the card. The possessive which is indicated by the letter “s” belong to entire phrase and not just to Cecilia.)

Here is another example to understand compound possessives in terms of names.

  • Clark and Peter’s expectation is the same.
  • Clark’s and Peter’s expectation is the same.

(It means that expectations of them are different. You signify a separate ownership in writing compounded proper nouns in possessive form.)

Another thing is that is one of possessors in compound possessive is personal pronoun. You need to put both of the possessors in possessive form or you will make something silly. For example:

  • John and my car towed last night
  • Peter’s and his father was not so close when they were young.

Possessives with Appositive Forms

how to use apostropheIf possessive noun is being followed by appositive, the word explaining the noun or the words that renames, an apostrophe plus the letter “s” should be added to appositive and not on the noun. For instance:

  • You must get Peter Garcia, the lawyer’s signature.
  • Keep in mind that you need to make constructions with caution or you end up that looks silly.
  • John wrecked his best friend, Amy’s car.

There you have the rules on how to use apostrophe so that you will be guided whenever you will write something. Knowing the rules will help you not to have a difficult time.

Follow the proper usage of apostrophes in names today!