Plural of family name


What is the plural of a family name, to indicate that you are talking about everyone in that family, e.g. the Bruce family.  Is "the Bruces" correct?


 What about one ending in y, such as Henry.  Is  " the Henrys" correct or  should i "change the y to i and add es" - Henries? 


And what about one ending in s as in "Saunders" - is "the Saunders" correct?

1 answer


"The Bruce family" uses the proper noun Bruce as an adjective and is acceptable for that purpose.


"The Bruces" is simply a plural form of Bruce, and it is the noun, not an adjective, and you are using the S to show plural form.  Note that "The Bruces family" does not make sense because you are trying to justify the use of two primary nouns ('The Bruces' AND 'The family') as the Subject, Object, etc.


If you are going to say "Bruces family" then (MOST LIKELY) you are using a singular "Bruce" possessively and you have to use an apostrophe to show possession:

Bruce's family is CUH-RAZY!  (sidenote: "is", assuming that you are using CN 'family' as a single unit--"are" if you are talking about them individually)

Whose family?  Bruce's family.


Keep in mind, you could use a group of people from a family possessively as well:

"I found the Bruces' lost heirloom."


Your analysis was correct with the Henrys.

Normally, you would change the Y to I and add ES, but you cannot do this with names.

"I had John Henry visit me yesterday."

"I had one of the Henrys visit me yesterday."


Yes, Saunders will remain the same for plurality.  Likely, the plurality will be obviated by your subject-verb agreement.

Joe Saunders is just called "Saunders" by his friends:

"Saunders is freaking crazy, man!"


"All of those Saunders are totally nuts, dude!"

link comment edited Sep 04 '13 at 01:06 Aaron Prejean Expert

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