Chris’s, Chris’ or Chrises? Which is correct?

Is it Chris’s or Chris’ or Chrises?!

The short answer is that they are all correct! When talking about something that belongs to Chris, you can say Chris’s or Chris’, such as “Chris’s car” or “Chris’ car.” If you want to make Chris plural, you would add “es” so the word becomes Chrises.

There are many different style guides that focus on the English language. Depending on which style guide you are using, you would write Chris’s or Chris‘ in the possessive case.

The name Chris is a proper noun. A proper noun is the name of a person, place or thing. Proper nouns are capitalized in English.

Chris’

The Associated Press Stylebook states that any plural noun, including names that end with an s, is followed with an apostrophe. If you are following the AP writing style, then you would spell it as Chris’.

For example:

I want to borrow Chris’ book.

Chris’ dinner looks delicious.

We are going to Chris’ house for a cup of tea.

Chris’s

In other style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, show that we should add an apostrophe and s (‘s) with proper nouns even if they end in ‘s.’ Therefore, we would spell it as Chris’s.

Chrises

If we want to make a noun that ends in s plural, we usually add es.

For example, the common noun bus would be buses if pluralized. The singular noun cactus would be cactuses when made plural.

It’s the same Chris. If there is more than one person named Chris, we would say Chrises.

One rule that applies to proper names is that you don’t change the spelling of the root word. For example, the name Cindy does not change to Cindies when pluralized. But this rule is not relevant to our example with the name Chris.

While it is grammatically correct to pluralize names, we rarely do this in writing. It is much more common to pluralize names when speaking, for example, “there are two Chrises in my class!”

In formal writing, however, we are more inclined to say, “there are two persons in my class called Chris.”

How do we make the plural “Chrises” possessive?

In the very unlikely event you want to make the plural name Chrises possessive, we would add an apostrophe after the ‘s.’ For example, “Chrises’ book.” This would mean that more than one Chris that own the book.

Which is more popular– Chris’ or Chris’s

Chris’s is said more in British English, whereas Chris’ may be used more in American English. However, spelling the word with the extra s is becoming increasingly popular in the US.

Stay consistent with whichever style guide you decide to use!

If you don’t want to choose a style guide or are not sure which one to use when writing, consider just saying that it belongs to Chris, for example, “the bag that belongs to Chris.” This avoids any awkwardness by simply rephrasing the word.

What is a stylebook?

This is a set of rules and examples of punctuation and typography employed by writers, printers and editors.

Should I use Chris’ or Chris’s when following the Associated Press (AP) stylebook?

We only need the addition of an apostrophe when making proper nouns possessive—for example, Chris’ cats.

Should I use Chris’ or Chris’s when following the Modern Language Association (MLA) stylebook?

According to the MLA stylebook, proper nouns ending in s that are singular follow the general rule and add apostrophe s. Therefore it becomes “Chris’s book.”

Should I use Chris’ or Chris’s when following the American Psychological Association (APA) stylebook?

You can use Chris’ when forming the possessive following the APA Stylebook, for example, Chris’ pens.

Should I use Chris’ or Chris’s when following the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)?

The Chicago style recommends adding an apostrophe s. Therefore the possessive form of a name, such as Chris, becomes Chris’s. For example, we went to Chris’s party.

In Conclusion

The best piece of advice we can give is to draw upon what is said in the style manuals before blindly choosing whether to use Chris’s or Chris’ in your writing.

Make sure to stay consistent in your writing and don’t switch back and forth between styles.

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I am a 24-year old online ESL teacher from rural Ireland. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK and Europe. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher. Please show some love and support by sharing this article with others. Thank you!

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