“S & ES Endings” by Mary Deal

S and ES Endings

by

Mary Deal

These endings have always troubled me until I finally decided to get it right. Compare the versions and see if you can pick out which is the correct usage of these endings.

The Joneses came for dinner.

The Jones’s came for dinner.

The Jones came for dinner.

John Joneses car stalled.

John Jones car stalled.

John Jones’s car stalled.

That Jones’s girl.

That Joneses girl.

That Jones girl.

The correct sentences are:

The Joneses came for dinner.

John Jones’s car stalled.

That Jones girl.

Some tips:

When a name ends with an s, when speaking of the family as a group, ad es – Joneses.

When speaking about something John Jones owned, it is his property and, therefore, an apostrophe and s shows ownership – Jones’s.

When speaking about a person in the singular, use only the name – Jones.

However, when speaking about a group of girls all named Jones, you would write that sentence: The Jones girls. Notice that the name stays the same but the s is added to the word girl, stating more than one exists with that name.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.

About Mike Angley

Mike Angley is the award-winning author of the Child Finder Trilogy. He retired as a Colonel from the Air Force in 2007 following a 25-year career as a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He held 13 different assignments throughout the world, among which were five tours as a Commander of various units, to include two Air Force Squadrons and a Wing. He is a seasoned criminal investigator and a counterintelligence and counterterrorism specialist. In his last assignment, he was Commander of OSI Region 8 with responsibility for all of Air Force Space Command. He’s fond of saying, “If it entered or exited Earth’s atmosphere, I had a dog in the fight!”
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