Apostrophe or Not? - Plural or Possessive Names and Your Personalized Metal Sign

Apostrophe or Not? - Plural or Possessive Names and Your Personalized Metal Sign

We have customers place orders on a regular basis where the Personalized Name on their sign has an apostrophe. We often flag these orders to double check with the customers their intent, as it can be a bit confusing whether to include an apostrophe or not when using a proper name. We have a few grammatical rules that you can follow to make your metal sign perfect.

Names can be pluralized like regular words by adding "s" to the last name. Of course there are always exceptions. In the case of a last name ending in "s" or "z", then add "es". Different from regular words, names that end in "y" will simply have an "s" added to make it plural. In all of these situations, no apostrophe is used. For example:

  • the Smith family becomes the Smiths
  • William and Mary Jones becomes the Joneses
  • Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez becomes the Gonzalezes
  • the Kennedy family becomes the Kennedys

When indicating the possessive of a name, the apostrophe is used like in regular words. If the possession is that of one person the apostrophe comes before the "s". If there is more than one owner, then add the apostrophe to the plural. If the last name ends in "s" it is grammatically correct to place the apostrophe after the existing "s" or to add and additional "s" with apostrophe before it. For example:

  • the garage belongs to Bill Smith then it is Smith's garage
  • the farm belongs to the Smith family then it is Smiths' farm
  • the car belongs to Tom Jones then it is Jones' or Jones's car
  • the house belongs to the Jones family then it is Jones' house
  • the bottle belongs to Ted Kennedy then it is Kennedy's bottle
  • the stable belongs to the Kennedy family then it is the Kennedys' stable

Ok, got it? If you are placing an order and are unsure just shoot us a quick message and we can make our recommendation. We often reach out to customers that have purchased already purchased a sign but may have made a grammatical error. However, it is smoothest to place the order with the correct grammar to avoid any isssues. If you have a question or example that may help others, feel free to comment! 


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