I know that if a word ends with an s then it should be made plural or possessive by use of an apostrophe with no extra s (e.g. "Thomas Harris' book was a riveting read." as opposed to "Gary Barlow's voice is so distracting.")

What about if the word ends with a z. For example, would it be Gomez' album or Gomez's album?

  • I don't know where you got that rule from. I would be very happy to write Harris's (and pronounce that in 3 syllables). Which means I would also write Gomez's.
    – Peter
    Jul 25, 2014 at 13:41
  • I believe it is more with plural words, like a boys' school, but I am sure I was taught to just use the apostrophe, maybe I am wrong then...
    – ZenLogic
    Jul 25, 2014 at 13:44
  • 2
    "Gomez's album" it is, pronunciation does not matter here. What if "Gomez' album" is interpreted as "Gomez'z album" following the same logic as the possessive 's ? :)
    – Kris
    Jul 25, 2014 at 14:02
  • That's a good point. I will use Gomez's album then. Thank you :)
    – ZenLogic
    Jul 25, 2014 at 14:05
  • 1
    “… if a word ends with an s then it should be made plural … by use of an apostrophe with no extra s ….” This is wrong. For most cases, you add es (e.g., atlases, classes, guesses). If the singular noun ends with is, you sometimes change is to es (axis -> axes, crisis -> crises, parenthesis -> parentheses) or sometimes add es (iris -> irises, trellis -> trellises). If the word is “already plural” (e.g., means, headquarters) the plural may be the same (“All my pants are blue”). There may be other rules, but you never form a plural by adding an apostrophe. Jul 25, 2014 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


There are various views regarding proper nouns ending in s.

The Times Style and Usage Guide (2011):

apostrophes with proper names/nouns ending in s that are singular, [...] where the final 's' is soft, use the 's' apostrophe, eg, Rabelais' writings, Delors' presidency

The Guardian Style Guide (2007):

The possessive in words and names ending in S normally takes an apostrophe followed by a second S (Jones's, James's), but be guided by pronunciation and use the plural apostrophe where it helps: Mephistopheles', Waters', Hedges' rather than Mephistopheles's, Waters's, Hedges's.

In both guides pronunciation has an impact on the use of s after the apostrophe. These guides, however, only consider names ending in s. I suspect, given the guiding principles stated in the guides, that these rules could be extended to names ending in z when the z is pronounced s.

In any case, I would write Gomez's as this is not difficult to pronounce.

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