Attornies or Attorneys: Which is Correct?

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There is some confusion on the correct plural of attorney: “attornies” or “attorneys.” English speakers often think of the rule “change y to i and add ies.” However, that is just part of the rule.

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Attornies

“Attornies” is the incorrect plural word of “attorney.” If you see this word, it is a misspelling.

Attorneys

The correct plural spelling of “attorney” is “attorneys.” Therefore, when writing about more than one attorney, you should use “attorneys.”

  • One attorney
  • Two attorneys
  • Three attorneys
  • Some attorneys…

Singular Possessive of Attorney

We use the singular possessive form to show ownership. To form the singular possessive, you must add an apostrophe + s. Therefore, the singular possessive form of “attorney” is “attorney’s.”

Examples of Sentences with “Attorney’s”

  • The attorney’s office is located in the downtown area.
  • The attorney’s fees for representing me in court were very reasonable.
  • The attorney’s assistant contacted me to schedule a meeting.
  • I received the attorney’s written response to the complaint.
  • The attorney’s argument convinced the judge.
  • The attorney’s reputation in the legal community is excellent.
  • I received the attorney’s bill for their services.
  • The attorney’s experience in criminal law was a key factor in my decision to hire them.
  • The attorney’s office has a strict policy on confidentiality.

Plural Possessive of Attorney

We use the plural possessive form to show ownership by more than one person. To form the plural possessive, you need to add s + an apostrophe. Therefore, the plural possessive form of “attorney” is “attorneys’.”

Examples of Sentences with “Attorneys'”

  • The attorneys’ fees for representing the company in the lawsuit were very high.
  • The attorneys’ office is located in a high-rise building in the financial district.
  • The attorneys’ argument was not persuasive enough to convince the judge.
  • The attorneys’ collective experience in civil rights law is extensive.
  • The attorneys’ reputation in the legal community is well-deserved.
  • The attorneys’ expertise in contract law was crucial to the successful negotiation of the deal.
  • The attorneys’ fees for their services were outlined in the retainer agreement.
  • The attorneys’ professional conduct was impeccable during the trial.
  • The plaintiff rejected the attorneys’ settlement offer.
  • The attorneys’ office has a team of paralegals and legal assistants to support their work.

Other Words That Follow The Same Rule

  • Monkey-> monkeys
  • Chimney-> chimneys
  • Donkey-> donkeys
  • Whiskey-> whiskeys
  • Turkey-> turkeys

The letter before the y in these words is a vowel. For this reason, they end in “-eys.

When Should You Use “-ies”

You may have heard the rule “change y to i and add es.” However, this rule only applies to words that have a consonant before the y.

Here are some examples:

  • ability-> abilities
  • Buddy-> buddies
  • Daisy-> daisies
  • Difficulty-> difficulties

Examples of Sentences with “Attorney”

  1. I hired an attorney to represent me in court.
  2. The attorney argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove the defendant’s guilt.
  3. The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the state.
  4. The attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case.
  5. The attorney advised me to settle the dispute out of court.
  6. The attorney cross-examined the witness in an effort to discredit their testimony.
  7. The attorney has a reputation for being a skilled negotiator.
  8. The attorney will be representing the company in the lawsuit.
  9. The attorney successfully appealed the lower court’s decision.
  10. The attorney requires a State Bar license.

In Conclusion

“Attorneys” is the correct spelling of the word, not “attornies.” If you see the word “attornies,” it is a misspelling. This is due to the vowel that follows the y.

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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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