Many times we see some people send messages saying “ Happy New Year” while some people say “Happy New Year’s”. That is why sometimes we wonder which of the two phrases is correct.
2020 has been a year unlike any other, we have witnessed a global pandemic that has changed the way we do things all over the world, in terms of gathering and celebration. A lot of people are steadily waiting to welcome 2021 with the hope that it would bring plenty of positive changes.
One thing nobody wants to worry about this holiday is whether it is alright to say Happy New Year or Happy New Year’s. So in order for an apostrophe not to bother you this holiday, this is the right way to use both phrases.
When is it Happy New Year?
It is a Happy New Year every year. 2021 is one single year, so it is okay to wish someone a Happy New Year at the beginning of the year when you are referring to the year as a whole. So at midnight, and the first few days of 2021, you can say Happy New Year to friends, family and loved ones.
When you are talking about the year generally, it is okay to say New year without adding the apostrophe.
● Last year was quite tough, hopefully, this New Year is going to be a lot better
● This New Year, I will be less busy than I was last year.
● Tell my sister I said Happy New Year.
● I want to lose some weight in the New Year
It would be totally wrong to turn to your friend on the first day of the year and say “Happy New Years” that would mean you are probably wishing them happiness for more than one year. Since there is only one year in 2021, you should not be caught telling your friend or family Happy New Year’s.
When is it Happy New Year’s?
The apostrophe in this sentence is what makes all the difference. By now you should already know that you cannot wish someone Happy New Year’s in 2021 or any other year because we cannot have multiple New Years in one year. But that doesn't mean there are no correct ways and instances to add the apostrophe.
The apostrophe is usually added to show possession, meaning you might not be referring to the entire year. If you are talking about the day, for instance, 1st January 2021, it is okay to ask your friends:
What are we doing for New Year’s? ( This means, what are we doing on that particular day only and not the whole year).
If you want to make a comment about more than one New Year, you can say New Years without adding the apostrophe. Example: We go to our grandma’s house for dinner every New Years day. This will make others understand that you are talking about more than one New Year.
New Year’s is mostly short for New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s day, that is why when you use it, it mostly means you are talking about any of these two occasions. So it is okay to say:
Happy New Year’s day, or Let's go to the park on New Year’s Eve.
It is used when you are talking about something that is in relation to the New Year rather than the entire New year. So you cannot say:
● This year has been tough, I am hoping the New Year’s will be better.
● I am going to lose some weight this New Year’s.
What you can rather say is,
● I am going to visit my sister this New Year’s. (referring to the 1st of January).
● Let’s have New Year’s dinner.
You can also use it to say Your New Year's resolution like, My New Year’s resolution is to always remember when apostrophes are necessary.
With the above information, you should never be caught struggling with apostrophes or telling your friends or family to have a Happy New Year’s. You should also be able to educate people who ask if it is Happy New Year or Happy New Year’s when it is right to use each term.
And if you are wondering if it is right to always capitalize New Year, the answer is Yes. That is because it is a holiday. Just like we say Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas or Happy Easter, New Years should also be capitalized.
Armed with this knowledge, you are ready to start composing your New Year Messages correctly, making up your New Year's Resolutions and placing your apostrophes right. Happy New Year!