Is It Valentines or Valentine’s day? (Grammar Lesson)

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. Cards, teddy bears, cards, and heart-shaped candy is what make this holiday so special. However, what is the correct spelling? In this post, we’ll teach you how to spell valentine’s day plus some tips for this special day!

Which Is The Correct Spelling – Valentines or Valentine’s?

woman thinking if it is valentine's or valentines day

The correct spelling of this holiday is Valentine’s Day. To be grammatically correct, you need to include the possessive apostrophe before the S. It can be very tough for new writers to master all the English grammar rules. Especially because so many phrases, like have a great or nice weekend, are so similar.

The holiday Valentine’s Day is based on an actual person, Saint Valentine. The apostrophe indicates the day belonging to Saint Valentine himself. The same descriptive and prescriptive grammar rules apply to other well-known holidays like “Saint Patrick’s Day”.

If you scan historical texts posted online, you will find that both spellings of the words are used. So don’t feel so bad if you spell Valentine’s Day wrong.

Bonus: Don’t forget to capitalize this proper noun “Valentine’s Day” (According to Chicago Manual [1]).

How To Use Valentine’s

February 14th is the national holiday, Valentine’s Day. The word “valentine’s” is used to reference the holiday.

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day
  2. Valentine’s Day Card
  3. Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear

You can also use the word “Valentine’s” when speaking to someone with the name Valentine. For example, if you were speaking about your friend named Steve Valentine you might say “That is Valentine’s baseball bat don’t touch it”.

The apostrophe indicates your friend Steve Valentine’s ownership of the baseball bat.

Takeaway: Use “Valentine’s” to wish someone a happy Valentine’s Day.

How To Use Valentine

Valentine is NOT used the same as Valentine’s. Valentine is a proper noun referring to the name of St. Valentine [2].

However, it is more frequently used as a common noun referring to a special person or lover that you give a gift on the holiday Valentine’s Day. For example:

  • I was so embarrassed that someone sent me a singing valentine in the middle of class.
  • I was nervous to give my valentine a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
  • You have and always will be my valentine!

You can’t simply add an S to the word valentine to make it into the holiday. It is NOT correct to say “Happy Valentines Day”. Although it is frequently used in informal communication that does not mean it is grammatically correct.

However, just like we saw in our post about box or boxes you still need to pay attention to the plural and singular spelling to avoid making simple mistakes,

Takeaway: Valentine can refer to the patron saint or your lover on Valentine’s day.

Apostrophe Rules 101

It is important to understand the apostrophe rules to really become an advanced writer.

  • Possession – Apostrophes are used to indicate possession, as in “the cat’s toy.” This also applies to the apostrophe after -Z.
  • Contractions – Can be used to form contractions, such as “don’t” and “can’t.”

There are other uses for this punctuation, but these are the main use cases.

Capitalization Rules 101

The basic rule is that you should always capitalize proper nouns. Proper nouns include the names of specific

  • People
  • Places
  • Things.

For example, you would capital letters for the name of a person (John Smith), the name of a city (New York), and the name of a holiday (Christmas) in your writing.

History Of Saint Valentine

Since the Middle Ages, the holiday “Valentine’s Day” has been celebrated. Saint Valentine was a Roman priest and physician who lived in the third century [3].

Today, the holiday is celebrated around the world with flowers, candy, and cards. While the true story of Saint Valentine may be lost to history, his spirit of love and sacrifice continues to inspire us today.

Tips On How To Say Happy Valentine’s Day

If you have never done it before, wishing someone a Happy Valentine’s Day can be intimidating. What if he/she doesn’t like it? What is the best way to say it? Here are some tips on the best strategies to greet your special someone on this holiday.

  1. Tell your loved one how much they mean to you in a heartfelt letter or poem.
  2. Write a song or make a homemade card or postcard expressing your affection.
  3. Make a heartfelt gesture, such as cooking dinner or buying flowers.
  4. Spend time together doing something you both enjoy, such as going on a hike or watching a movie.

You might be tempted to send a DM on Instagram or Twitter…DON’T do it! Take the extra effort to do something nice for your partner or crush. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

How To Spell Other Popular Holiday’s

There are many other holidays that are celebrated in the US & around the world that writers often misspell. Here’s a list of how to spell the names of popular holidays.

  1. Christmas
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. Halloween
  4. Easter
  5. New Year’s Day
  6. Independence Day
  7. Valentine’s Day
  8. St. Patrick’s Day
  9. Hanukkah
  10. Memorial Day
  11. Veterans Day
  12. Presidents’ Day
  13. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

You should also remember that some holidays may have alternative or regional spellings. Additionally, the apostrophe placement may vary in holidays like New Year’s Day or Presidents’ Day depending on style guides and conventions.

FAQs – Saint Valentine’s Day

Q: Does valentines have an apostrophe?

Yes, Valentines Day is typically written with an apostrophe as “Valentine’s Day.” The origins of the holiday are unclear, but it is likely named for a Christian saint named Valentine.

Q: Is it correct to say Happy valentines?

No it is not correct to say “Happy Valentines”. You should use an apostrophe before the S.

Q: Is Valentine’s plural?

Valentine’s show the holiday belongs and originates from the patron saint Valentine.

Q: How do you spell Happy Valentine’s?

The holiday is spelled “Valentine’s Day“.

Q: What is the real meaning of valentine?

The meaning is derived from a saint that was alive in the middle ages. St. Valentine died as a martyr and the holiday has lived on in his remembrance.

Q: Do you capitalize valentine?

Yes, it is a holiday so it should be capitalized. All proper nouns should be capitalized in your writing.

The Bottom Line

Now you know the truth about Valentine’s vs Valentines. So many authors make this simple mistake! In almost every situation you should be using “Valentine’s”. If you can’t seem to memorize this spelling rule, then use our spell and grammer check tool. Use these spelling tips to improve your writing and avoid making any silly mistakes.