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I have a son named James. James has a toy. When I speak and refer to his toy, should I say "Jaymz toy" or "Jaymz-iz toy?" Please avoid telling me how to spell it; I understand it would be spelled "James' toy." I am curious how I should pronounce this. As a native English speaker, both options seem "off" to both my ears and my tongue.

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  • Only you would know which one you would say. Are you really asking which one you should say? Apr 5 at 23:03
  • Nice catch. I updated the question. Apr 5 at 23:52
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    Re Please avoid telling me how to spell it; I understand it would be spelled "James' toy." You're simply mistaken, there. The orthography reflects the pronunciation - if you pronounce both s's, you should also write them. Apr 6 at 0:36
  • We have 'Saint James's Street' in my home city. Apr 6 at 14:03

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Pronounce it based on how you write it: if you add the s, add the extra syllable; if not, just say it as you would normally say “James.” Or vice versa—write it as you choose to pronounce it. But keep the verbal and written forms consistent.

Please avoid telling me how to spell it; I understand it would be spelled "James' toy."

That’s not necessarily true. It’s a matter of style, so it could be correct both with and without an additional s, but most guides would recommend adding an s to all singular names, even those already ending in s (typically barring historical figures—though the distinction of when and when not to add it is muddy).

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