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Is It Happy New Year, Happy New Year’s, or Happy New Years?

With the new year just around the corner, you start thinking about all the people you want to send greeting cards and emails to wish them well. But what phrase is the right one to use? Is it “Happy New Year”, “Happy New Year’s”, or “Happy New Years”?

Milena Lazova
Milena Lazova

With the new year just around the corner, you start thinking about all the people you want to send greeting cards and emails to wish them well. But what phrase is the right one to use? Is it “Happy New Year”, “Happy New Year’s”, or “Happy New Years”?

And should the phrase “New Year” be capitalized in the first place? The use of apostrophes and capitalization can be tricky, and not understanding them can make you leave the wrong impression.

So if you want to show your loved ones how much they mean to you without making a silly mistake in your writing, you should learn where to put the apostrophe and when to capitalize the phrase.

Wishing Someone a Happy New Year Correctly

If you want to wish someone well at midnight or in the first few weeks of January, you should use the phrase “Happy New Year.” There’s no apostrophe here because the apostrophe is used when you want to show possession, and in this case, no one possesses the New Year.

You can also use “new year” when you want to talk about the upcoming year or the current one while it’s still in the beginning.

Examples:

Happy New Year!
I don’t think I can make it till the end of December, so why don’t we meet in the new year?
It’s a new year, the perfect time for changes!

New Year: capitalized or not?

After solving the apostrophe dilemma, the next question is whether you should capitalize New Year. Well, it depends on the use case.

If you’re referring to the big day or the holiday, you should capitalize both words. But if you’re talking about the coming year generally, there’s no need for capitalization.

For example:

My parents will be visiting me over the New Year.
I hope I will finally graduate in the new year.

What about “New Year’s”?

As we mentioned, the apostrophe is used when you want to imply possession which would turn the phrase “new year” into a modifier of the following noun.

The phrase “New Year’s” is mostly used when referring to the eve of the New Year, the first day of the new year, or the resolution associated with the new year. And it’s always capitalized because it refers to a holiday.

I’m staying home this New Year’s Eve.
I’ll talk to you on New Year’s Day.
My New Year’s resolution is to travel more.

When to use “New Years”?

“New years” is obviously the plural form of New Year. Since there is always one new year, you can’t use the plural form to wish someone well, so using “Happy New Years” is incorrect.

You can, however, use this phrase when referring to several new years. Just make sure you don’t capitalize it.

New years offer new chances for us to do better.

And if you’re wondering whether it’s New Year’s Eve or New Years Eve, just remember what we said about apostrophes.

They denote possession and turn the word or phrase into a modifier of the following noun. So, in this case, it’s always “New Year’s Eve” and never “New Years Eve.”

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Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.