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UNF Style Guide Plurals & Possessives

General guidelines

Follow these guidelines in forming and using plural words:

For most words, add an “s” to pluralize. This includes figures and years.

Right: thank-you-ma'ams 

Right: the early 1920s 

Right: several YMCAs 

Right: CPAs, CODs and IOUs

Right: in twos and threes

Right: size 7s 

Right: Temperatures will be in the low 20s.

Right: She knows her ABCs.

Right: I gave him five IOUs.

Right: They both have Ph.D.s and M.A.s.

There are a few exceptions, including the plural forms of single letters. Form plurals of the following by adding an "apostrophe and s."


Right: S's, A's and I's

Right: x's and y's 

Right: Mind your p’s and q’s.

In general, add an “es” to pluralize words ending in “ch,” “s,” “sh,” “ss,” “x” and “z."

Right: churches

Right: lenses

Right: parishes

Right: buzzes

(Monarchs is an exception)

Words ending in “y”: If a “y” is preceded by a consonant or “qu,” change the “y” to an “i” and add “es.” Otherwise, just add an “s.”

Right: armies

Right: cities

Right: navies

Right: soliloquies

Right: donkeys

Right: monkeys

Words ending in “o”: If the “O” is preceded by a consonant, most plurals require “es.” One exception to this rule includes “pianos.”

Right: buffaloes

Right: dominoes

Right: echoes

Right: potatoes

Wrong: pianoes 

Plural possessives

For words ending in "s" that are not proper nouns, use only the apostrophe if the following word begins in "s."

Right: Class' syllabus

Right: Class's work

Wrong: Class's syllabus

Pluralizing compound words

To pluralize compound words that are written solid, add an “s” at the end. For those that involve separate words or words linked by a hyphen, make the most significant word plural.

Right: cupfuls

Right: handfuls

Right: tablespoonfuls

Right: attorneys general

Right: daughters-in-law

Right: presidents-elect

Right: sergeants major

Right: assistant attorneys general

Wrong: mother-in-laws

Preferred plurals






memoranda   memorandums
symposia   symposiums
colloquia   colloquiums
millennia   millenniums
data   datums
media   mediums
criteria   criterions
people   persons
vitae   vitas 



Proper nouns

Add an “es” to most names ending in “es,” “s” or “z.”

Right: Charleses 

Right: Joneses

Right: Williamses 

Right: Gonzalezes 

Add an “s” to most proper names ending in “y,” even if preceded by a consonant. Exceptions include “Alleghenies” and “Rockies.”

Right: the Duffys 

Right: the Kennedys 

Right: the two Kansas Citys 

For others, just add an “s.”

Right: the Carters

Right: the McCoys 

Wrong: the Smith’s

Here's a sampling of proper nouns on campus:

Brooks College of Health

Coggin College of Business

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Education and Human Services

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction

Fine Arts Center

University Green, the Green

Lazzara Performance Hall