Learn English – Possessive and plural suffixes for proper nouns ending in -s


With a name that ends in -s, such as Travis or Lewis, where and when should you use -es, -'s, -s or just leave it alone to both pluralise, and to infer belonging to?

E.g., if the ball belongs to Travis, which suffix would be used in

The ball is Travis[es/'s/s/].

And, referring to a group of people all named Travis, which is correct:

Here come the Travis[es/'s/s/].

Best Answer

There is no special rule here: you simple use the same rule as you do for other words.

That means that the specific answers to your two sentences are:

  • The ball is Travis’s.
  • Here come the Travises.

Those last words are of course pronounced the same.

There are imported -is words that go to -es, like crisis > crises, but Travis is not one of them.

You may wish to study this answer to “Which singular names ending in “s” form possessives with only a bare apostrophe?”.