Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about tips for writers based on the manuscripts I edit.

Using an Apostrophe in Plural Words

Do not use an apostrophe for most plurals. Examples:

dos and don’ts

no ifs, ands, or buts

the 1980s

the Joneses


yeses and nos


Molly got three As and two Cs.

Five Toms, four Dicks, and three Harrys

I had to go to two DMVs to get my license renewed.

Exception: To avoid confusion, pluralize single lowercase letters by adding apostrophe-s. Examples:

a’s and b’s

 x’s and y’s



About Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, has written books, articles, short stories, devotionals, play scripts, and Sunday school curriculum. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor/proofreader/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. Kathy is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network ( and the Christian Editor Connection ( For more about Kathy, visit or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

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