Do I need apostrophes with family surnames?

Do I need apostrophes with family surnames?

Do I need apostrophes with family surnames?

Mickey asks:  “Hi Teena, When signing a card from The Bernsteins, The Shermans and The Barks, do you use apostrophes?

Also, when displaying an ornament with a surname do you use an apostrophe?

The Bernsteins or the Bernstein’s 2008.

Thank you!!!”

 

Do I need apostrophes with family surnames?

 

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5 Responses to Do I need apostrophes with family surnames?

  1. ApostropheQueen says:

    Hi there Mickey,

    Thanks for writing to me!

    If the card you’re signing from the Bernsteins doesn’t mention ownership of any kind, you don’t need an apostrophe – here are some examples:

    =====
    Question 1
    =====

    “To our wonderful neighbours,

    Best wishes for a fabulous New Year!

    from The Bernsteins, The Shermans and The Barks”

    ===== or ===

    (2) “To the Foster’s Dog Butch,

    I hope I continue to run faster than you in 2009!

    from the Bernstein’s Cat, Fluffy”

    =====

    So if you’re simply using the surname on its own, there is no apostrophe needed.

    Hope this makes sense.

    =====
    Question 2
    =====

    Q: when displaying an ornament with a surname do you use an apostrophe? The Bernsteins or the Bernstein’s 2008

    A: If the sign on the ornament simply said, “The Bernsteins – 2008” – then you don’t need an apostrophe. If the ornament said something like, “The Bernstein’s Team – 2008” – or – “The Bernstein’s Tapdancers – 2008” – then you DO need an apostrophe to show ownership of something.

    There are a few more examples throughout the website, and please do let me know if you need more help.

    Let me know if you have any more questions,
    Cheers
    Teena

  2. Tony Freeland says:

    I will have to change my E address to confused .com
    Born in Yorkshire England. You don’t realise how much Grammar you loose over the years. Great website.

  3. Angry Word User says:

    Part of the problem is suggestions from the MS Word grammar wrecker, er checker that are wrong. No, Word programmer, ‘Your’ should not be changed to ‘You’re’ when I do not mean ‘you are’. But what would I know, only having a university degree in English and years of writing and editing experience?

    • ApostropheQueen says:

      Dear Angry Word User,

      I totally agree about the spell-checker and grammar-checker — I’ve always told people, “The only way to know which choice to make with a spelling or grammar checker is to ALREADY KNOW which is the right answer (therefore making it superfluous)”.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment,
      cheerio for now
      Teena

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