hairdresser vs hairdresser's / cleaners vs cleaner's


1) Take this dress to the cleaners, please.
2) Take this dress to the cleaner's, please.

I think that "cleaner's" is correct and "cleaners" isn't.
What do you think?
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Ha! This seems like one of those intances where the "incorrect" usage actually became the norm.

    I think, technically, dry cleaner's is correct, assuming one single store front = one cleaner (singular).

    However, cleaners (plural) has become the norm. Let's just assume since each facility probably has several different cleaners (employees) actually doing the work, then "cleaners" it is. Chalk it up to a techncicality. :D

    Afterall, whenever the cleaners put to much starch in my collars, I always complain about them, not he/she/it.


    Senior Member
    English (USA)
    1) Take this dress to the cleaners, please.
    2) Take this dress to the cleaner's, please.

    I think that BOTH of these may be correct.

    In the first sentence you are taking the dress to the cleaners themselves. That is, to the actual people who do the cleaning (the cleaners).

    In the second sentence, you are taking the dress to the store (that belongs to the cleaners & is the place where they do the cleaning).

    I think that if I were writing this, I would be more likely to use the "cleaners", but I think that both would be acceptable.

    Hopefully this did not confuse you!


    Senior Member
    English, US
    Hi all,

    I agree with mamboney. Both seem correct to me. The first is to the people; the second is to the place (of the people). :)

    God bless,


    Senior Member
    Which sentence is correct:
    1) He came back from the hairdresser.
    2) He came back from the hairdresser's.



    Senior Member
    I would use #2 because hairdresser's refers to the place, the shop where the hairdresser works. If you say, "I came from the hairdresser," that means you came from a person, not a location. That seems odd to me.


    I noticed that for places doing dry cleaning business, the store sign almost always says:
    Lucy's Cleaners, Robert's Cleaners, ... (something) Cleaners.
    Dictionaries have an entry for "dry cleaner", which is singular. The entry "the cleaners", which is plural, could also be found there. So, when is the singular form used, and when is the plural form used?

    <<Moderator's note: Thread merged with earlier thread on the same topic. Please read from the top. >>
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I think they're interchangeable. They're both in use and it's pretty much personal choice or what you heard/learnt growing up! The plural form just acknowledges that there is usually more than one employee:D


    Senior Member
    English - England
    The same, I think, goes for several other establishments, such as florists, chemists, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers . . .

    The discussion about whether any or all of these should have an apostrophe is another story :D
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