Public Works and Government Services Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

abbreviations: plurals

Follow the guidelines below to form the plural of different types of abbreviations.

Plurals formed with s alone

Add an s, but not an apostrophe, to form the plural of most abbreviations:

  • ADMs
  • BMWs
  • CAs
  • CRs
  • FTEs
  • GICs
  • MPs
  • PCBs
  • 747s

Add an s without an apostrophe to form the plural of abbreviations with only one period. The s is added before the period:

  • Gens.
  • pts.

Plurals formed with apostrophe s

In cases where the resulting form would be ambiguous, add an apostrophe before the s:

  • Q’s and A’s
  • SIN’s

Add an apostrophe and s to form the plural of abbreviations containing more than one period:

  • c.o.d.’s
  • G.M.’s

Use an apostrophe and s to form the plural of numerical names of aircraft ending in a single letter:

  • 727-100C’s
  • 747B’s
  • Cessna 402B’s

Irregular plurals

The plurals of Mr. and Mrs. are irregular:

  • Mr., Messrs.
  • Mrs., Mmes.

The plural forms of the abbreviations for certain bibliographic references are different:

The following table shows the plural forms of abbreviations for bibliographic references.
Singular Plural
l. (line) ll.
p. (page) pp.
f. (and the one following) ff.
c., ch. (chapter) c., ch.
MS (manuscript) MSS
but Plural
s. (section) ss.
subs. (subsection) subss.

Note that SI/metric symbols maintain the same form for both singular and plural and are written without periods, except at the end of a sentence:

  • 1 cm
  • 5 cm
  • 75 kg
  • The boxer weighed only 75 kg.