plural abbreviations_blog

If you’re someone who’s proficient in English, you probably find it fairly easy to make words plural. You know that in most cases, you add either an “-s” or an “-es” to the end of a word (e.g., “reports” and “classes”). And although English does contain its fair share of plural exceptions, you’ve probably memorized many of the important ones (e.g., “children,” “leaves,” and “indices”).

Sometimes, though, we run into situations where we have to make something that isn’t a regular word plural. One of these cases is when we’re working with abbreviations. Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. Here are some examples of abbreviations: “SEO” for “search engine optimization,” “a.m.” for “ante meridiem,” and “MOU” for “memorandum of understanding.”

It’s common to see people make abbreviations plural by adding an apostrophe and an “-s” to the end of the abbreviation. For example, many people write abbreviations in their plural form like this: “MOU’s” and “LCD’s.” This thinking probably comes from the fact that some style guides recommend making letters plural by adding an apostrophe and an “-s” to them (e.g., “I got three A’s on my report card.”)

However, when it comes to abbreviations, the major styles guides (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, and AP) agree that we make abbreviations plural in the same way that we make words plural. That is, we generally add either an “-s” or an “-es” depending on how the word ends. Check out these examples to see how this convention works:

  • MOU – MOUs
  • LCD – LCDs
  • SOS – SOSes

In essence, then, when it comes to making abbreviations plural, you can treat them like regular words.  How’s that for making things simple?


Have any lingering questions about how to make abbreviations plural? Leave us a note in our comments section below and we’ll get in touch. Your question may even inspire one of our upcoming posts!


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How to make abbreviations plural
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