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.

apostrophe: plurals

Certain plurals are sometimes written with ’s:

  • abbreviations whose appearance would otherwise be ambiguous or confusing, and the plurals of lower-case letters, symbols and numerals:
  • c.o.d.’s
  • POW’s
  • SIN’s
  • x’s
  • a’s and w’s
  • +’s and -’s (pluses and minuses)
  • 6’s (or 6s)
  • cited words:

an overabundance of is’s and which’s

Note: It is not necessary to use the apostrophe in set expressions such as "the dos and don’ts," "no ifs, ands or buts," "the whys and wherefores."

  • words not conveniently pluralized:
  • all the Toms, Dicks, Harrys and Louis’s
  • all the Lao’s in Laos