How is it natural to unite all members of Jones's family under one phrase? Are these versions synonyms?

The Jones’s family

The Jones

The Joneses

  • 1
    Only use an apostrophe if you intend it as a possessive - Mr Jones's family were waiting for him. Keeping up with the Joneses is an established phrase. Jul 19, 2021 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


Your example is a little more difficult because of the final "s" sound in "Jones", so let's try with "Potter" instead.

It is possible to use "The Potters" in context to refer to the family with that name. It is only possible when there is a clear context. Most often when talking about a relation. So my Dad might say

We're going to visit the Potters next week.

And I'd understand that he was talking about his sister and her husband, whose married name is "Potter". It would be relatively unusual to talk about a less close family. I don't think I'd use this to speak of a work collegue's family that I wasn't particular close to. Instead if I was talking about Sri Patel's family I wouldn't say "the Patels" but:

We're going to visit Sri and her family next week

"Jones" is more difficult, because of the final "s" but "the Joneses" is possible. Generally I would look to an alternative, such as "Derek's family" (if speaking about Derek Jones)

  • If I understand it, "The Jones" is plural of "Jone", "The Joneses" is plural of "Jones". There are both last names "Jone" and "Jones" in English. So, if we have Mr. Jones and his family, two versions are possible: The Jones’s family and The Joneses. If we have Mr. Jone and his family, two versions are possible: The Jone’s family and The Jones. Am I right?
    – Sergei
    Jul 19, 2021 at 10:36
  • 1
    I've never heard of Jone as a surname, and Google brings up no references, but a family of that name would be 'the Jones'. As I said in my earlier comment, the apostrophe would only be appropriate when speaking of a particular individual's family. Jul 19, 2021 at 12:10
  • 1
    "Jone" would be a very rare surname, I'm don't know if there is anybody with that surname. A quick search of the internet only finds typos and misspellings of "Jones" (for example "Mrs Jones is a teacher. Mrs Jone's class..." That is an obvious error. You can assume that nobody is named Mr Jone.
    – James K
    Jul 19, 2021 at 14:47
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    Sergey - I think the poster there was only using 'Jone' as a hypothetical name to show how names not ending in 's' are pluralised. Jul 19, 2021 at 15:58
  • 1
    @Sergey Right. If the family name was Smith, we'd say "the Smith brothers"
    – gotube
    Jul 20, 2021 at 4:19

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