No Apostrophes in Plurals!

no apostrophes in pluralsNo apostrophes in plurals! I am certain this will be someone’s pet peeve. Probably provoke some shivers.

A lot of writers are using an apostrophe to form plurals of nouns, which is simply wrong. The information below shows how to create plurals of nouns based on their ending letter in the singular form. 

The biggest takeaway here, I hope, is that there are NO apostrophes in plurals of regular words. 

BUT: (Of course there’s a but, right?) The only exception is when we are forming plurals of single letters, such as A or I. We can write “She got all A’s on her exams” because without the apostrophe, the two letters (As) can be read as “as.”

So here are some rules and examples of making regular words plural.

NEVER use an apostrophe to make regular nouns plural.

Nouns ending in s, x, ch, and sh: add es
mess-messes   tax-taxes   church-churches   brush-brushes
bus-buses   lens-lenses   pass-passes   ditch-ditches   fox-foxes

An exception: ox-oxen


Nouns ending with consonant + y,
change y to i and add s
company-companies   baby-babies   curry-curries


With most others, add s (yes, even foreign words)
taco-tacos   house-houses   cat-cats   Monday-Mondays
pizza-pizzas   margarita-margaritas   cave-caves


Another BUT: The plurals of calf and half are properly written as calves and halves. English is one tough language!

Even when the word is a verb, we still do NOT use an apostrophe to create a different form.

I tend to do that. She tends to do that.

I cry / fly / sigh / lie / buy.  She cries / flies / sighs / lies / buys.

I lose / move my keys sometimes. She loses / moves her keys sometimes.

I lurch / teach / switch. She lurches / teaches / switches.

Isn’t English fun?

When DO we use apostrophes? Check this out!