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ESL forum > Ask for help > Plural    

Plural



marcella8161
Italy

Plural
 
Hi! I īd like to know if PERSONS is the plural of PERSON or if PEOPLE it is still the correct plural. Maybe both are correct now, but I īd like to know it for sure because I īd like to teach in a correct way to my students. Thanks a lot and thanks for the marvellous worksheet and other things I see here!

28 Jan 2011      



Stephaniee
Australia

The plural of person is both persons and people. Peoples is used to denote a specific group of people by their common ethnicity, religion, geographic region, common interest, etc.

28 Jan 2011     



marcella8161
Italy

Thanks!!!

28 Jan 2011     



dermo
Spain

People vs Persons

 

person (singular) has two plurals: people and persons

people is much more usual and friendlier than persons

I went on the trip with five other people.

persons is usually used in official circumstances, exactly like your elevator example

This must not be shown to any unauthorized persons.

 

 

Person is a countable noun. It has two plural forms: persons and people.

--

Now, without wishing to "muddy the waters", the word people can also be singular, but then it has a different meaning:
- the men, women and children of a particular country or ethnic group

The Chinese are a great people.

But this people is also countable, and the plural is peoples:

This article is about the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

28 Jan 2011     



almaz
United Kingdom

It īs quite astonishing that, until relatively recently (1984 according to M-WDEU), some people would be horrified at even the slightest suggestion that people could possibly be used in place of persons when preceded by a modifier or specific number. 

Many people - aaarghhh! Seven people - double aaaarghhhh! 

All this, despite the fact that this usage has been around since Chaucer īs time.

By the way, I īve always thought it a bit dodgy to say that people is a plural of person. They īre different words with different roots, although it īs more of an acceptable option than the more formal and slightly stuffy persons. I believe the term is īsuppletive ī (they īre linked semantically but not etymologically). Actually, looked at this way, I suppose it is a perfectly natural plural of person.

@dermo, whose īelevator example ī?

28 Jan 2011     



Bruna Dutra
Brazil

@ almaz ... dermo simply copied and pasted an explanation made by someone else on the net, but I guess you already knew that Wink

28 Jan 2011     



almaz
United Kingdom

Oops, rumbled...Embarrassed

28 Jan 2011     



almaz
United Kingdom

Oops, rumbled...Embarrassed

28 Jan 2011