Guide: How to Say Plural Last Names

When it comes to pluralizing last names, it’s essential to understand the proper conventions to ensure we address individuals or groups with respect and accuracy. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways to say plural last names, focusing on standard practices while considering regional variations where necessary. Follow the tips and examples below to navigate the intricacies of pluralizing last names.

Formal Ways to Say Plural Last Names

Formal occasions call for the utmost care and precision in addressing individuals or groups of people. Here are some guidelines to follow when pluralizing last names formally:

  1. Add an “s” or “es”: For most last names, pluralizing is as simple as adding an “s” to the end, just like with common nouns. For example, the plural form of “Smith” is “Smiths.” If the last name ends with -ch, -sh, -s, -x, or -z, add “es” instead. For instance, “Gomez” becomes “Gomezes.” However, be cautious with last names ending in -x or -s, as they may require varying treatments, as we’ll discuss in the next subheading.
  2. Use “The” before the plural form: When referring to a specific family by their last name in the plural form, make sure to precede it with “The.” For example, “The Smiths” or “The Parkers.”
  3. Avoid apostrophes: Unlike possessive forms (e.g., “Smith’s house”), plural forms of last names should never use an apostrophe. Apostrophes are reserved for indicating possession, not plurality.
  4. Consider regional variations: While the aforementioned rules generally apply worldwide, some regional variations exist. For instance, in certain areas of the United States, adding an “s” without changing the ending is common. Thus, “Bryants” or “Rogers” would remain the same.

Informal Ways to Say Plural Last Names

Informal situations, such as casual conversations or friendly gatherings, allow for more flexibility and leniency in pluralizing last names. Here are some tips to keep in mind while addressing plural last names informally:

  1. Use an “s” or “es” as with formal situations: Just like in formal situations, adding an “s” or “es” to the end of the last name is usually sufficient to pluralize it. This provides consistency and avoids confusion in both formal and informal settings.
  2. Omit “The” for family names: In informal settings, it is common to address or refer to families by their last name without the “The” preceding it. For example, “Smiths” or “Parkers” instead of “The Smiths” or “The Parkers.”
  3. Consider context: Informal situations often provide more room for context-based understanding. If it is clear from the conversation that you are referring to multiple individuals with the same last name, you can oftentimes omit explicitly pluralizing the last name.


To further clarify the concepts discussed above, here are some examples of how to say plural last names:

“We invited the Smiths to the party.”

“The Parkers are hosting a barbecue.”

“The Johnsons just moved to a new neighborhood.”

“She is friends with the Browns.”

The correct pluralization of the last names above ensures accurate communication and respectful addressing of individuals or groups.


Pluralizing last names is a crucial aspect of effective communication. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can confidently navigate both formal and informal situations, respecting the cultural nuances surrounding last names. Remember, consistency, context, and respect are key when tackling plural last names. Practice these rules, remain attentive to regional variations, and you’ll master the art of saying plural last names with ease!

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