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Using Apostrophes to Form Plurals

Chapter:
Punctuation
Author(s):

Cheryl Iverson

Using Apostrophes to Form Plurals

Do not use an apostrophe to indicate the plural of a name. Do not use an apostrophe in the name of an organization in which the qualifying term is used as an adjective or an attributive rather than a possessive. Of course, always follow the official name.

The Chicago Cubs

state parks rangers

Veterans Affairs

musicians union

Rainbow Babies Hospital

nurses station

Use 's to indicate the plural of letters, signs, or symbols spoken as such, or words referred to as words when s alone would be confusing. Note the italics with inflectional ending in roman type for words, letters, and numbers but not for symbols and signs.

He uses too many and's.

The manuscript editor was mindful of the list of do’s and don't's.

Mind your p’s and q's.

There are 9 +’s on the page.

His 1’s looked like 7's.

Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of an all-capital abbreviation or of numerals (including years). (See also 9.5, Plurals, Abbreviations.)

ECGs

RBCs

EEGs

a woman in her 40s

IQs

during the late 1990s

WBCs

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