General Writing and Grammar Help/Plural Names


Hello Richard,

I was curious how you would spell a name that ends in an 's' if it is plural. The scene i need help in is how to spell 'Travis's' in a sentence like this: He pointed at Travis's left arm.
I am not sure how to spell Travis in the way it is used there.

As always thank you for any help you can give.

Thanks for your question, Owen. I hope you ask more.

First of all, your use of the term "plural" here is incorrect. There are no plurals in the example you gave.

Your example is one of the possessive case. Your spelling ["Travis's left arm"] is correct. You will see other spellings, but the spelling you used is preferred by the Chicago Manual of Style and by me.

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Richard Johnson


I specialize in grammar. I can however answer any question except homework questions--usually the same day--concerning English grammar, usage, or (non-fiction) writing style, on the basis of the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.


I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style supplemented, where appropriate, by Long, The New College Grammar.

For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as

BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]