Family’s or Families’ or Families?

The word family’s is the singular possessive form. E.g., “Each family’s respective application will be considered.” Also, families’ is the plural possessive. E.g., “The hotel catered for the families’ needs in terms of childcare.” In addition, families is the standard plural version.

The following chart shows the different forms of the word family.

Singular possessiveFamily’s
Plural possessiveFamilies’

First, you can make the standard plural form by removing the “y” and adding the suffix “ies.”

Second, you can make the singular possessive by adding an apostrophe and “s” to the end of family.

Lastly, you can make the plural possessive by adding an apostrophe to the end of families.

Here are some examples of the different forms of family in sentences.

  • Singular: People should value their family because you only get one.
  • Plural: Several families from the street are contributing toward food for the street party.
  • Singular possessive: Our family’s vacation home is in Oregon.
  • Plural possessive: The planning office rejected the families’ objections to the new construction.

As you can see, in the singular possessive example, we refer to one family, namely our own. While in the second example, we refer to something that belongs to several families.

You do not want to use the wrong version of the word family in your writing. Therefore, you should carry on reading the rest of the page to learn more about how to use the possessive forms of family.


The word family’s is the singular possessive form, which means you use it to talk about things that belong to one family.

You can use family’s to refer to families possessing non-physical things, such as in these examples:

  • His family’s loss was too hard to bear.
  • Their family’s reputation in the community is highly respected.
  • Her family’s support was crucial when she decided to change careers.
  • The family’s resilience helped them get through difficult times.
  • Her family’s sense of humor always made gatherings more enjoyable.

Alternatively, you can use family’s to refer to a family possessing material or physical items.

Here are some examples:

  • The fire destroyed our family’s home in the forest.
  • The family’s vacation to Europe was a memorable experience for everyone involved.
  • The family’s business has been thriving for three generations.
  • The family’s antique collection is both valuable and sentimentally significant.
  • The family’s car broke down, leaving them stranded on their road trip.


The word families’ is the plural possessive form of the word family. Therefore, you use it when you want to say that several families own or possess something.

Like the singular possessive, you can use the plural possessive to refer to physical objects or people.

For example:

  • The three families’ children organized a surprise party for their fathers on Father’s Day.
  • The families’ vehicles were all towed from outside the event.
  • The two families’ backyards are adjacent, making it easy for the children to play together.
  • The neighborhood families’ pets were all invited to the annual pet fair.
  • The families’ boats were docked next to each other, forming a small community on the water.

In addition, you can use families’ to refer to non-physical things such as words or views.

Here are some examples of how to use families’ in this context:

  • The families’ outrage was understandable because they had paid a lot of money for the trip.
  • The families’ values were reflected in the community service projects they initiated.
  • The families’ concerns were addressed in the meeting with the school board.
  • The families’ opinions were divided over the proposed changes to the local park.
  • The families’ testimonials played a significant role in the outcome of the town hall meeting.


The word families is the standard plural form of the word family. That means you can use it when discussing more than one family, as long as the sentence is not possessive.

Furthermore, you can use it to refer to all families.

Feel free to have a look at these examples to see what we mean:

  • Families around the world are celebrating Christmas.
  • Families across the country are struggling with rising healthcare costs.
  • Families worldwide are affected by the issue of climate change.
  • Families in various cultures have their own unique ways of celebrating milestones like weddings and births.

Alternatively, you can use it to refer to a set number of families.

Here are some great examples of how families is used in this context:

  • The two families that live on either side of my house hate each other.
  • The three families living at the end of the street are all related to each other.
  • The four families in the apartment complex always gather for a potluck dinner once a month.
  • The five families who share the cul-de-sac take turns hosting block parties throughout the summer.

We trust that we have got you all covered with the grammar rules concerning the possessive forms of family.