Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: people/persons

  1. #1
    vkhu is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    191
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default people/persons

    At school, I'm told that people is the only accepted plural form of person yet in some documents or on a few signs and notices, I still see persons being used. What is the distinction between these two words?

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,408
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: people/persons

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    At school, I'm told that people is the only accepted plural form of person yet in some documents or on a few signs and notices, I still see persons being used. What is the distinction between these two words?
    What you were told in school is wrong.
    Here's one view. There are others.
    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/people-versus-persons/

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,533
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: people/persons

    I see persons used mostly in legal texts or where people want to sound lawyerly or official.

    BTW People, in the sense of a nation or similar grouping, can be used in the plural- the peoples of the world (seen as separate groups and not as a single species)

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,408
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: people/persons

    Persons is also used extensively in philosophy as the first line of the article below, and the Bibliography proves:
    Personal Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,533
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: people/persons

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Persons is also used extensively in philosophy as the first line of the article below, and the Bibliography proves:
    Personal Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
    I must get round to reading more philosophy.

Similar Threads

  1. people, persons
    By Ju in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 29-May-2011, 09:15
  2. People vs persons
    By gshahriar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-Jan-2010, 07:43
  3. [Grammar] Persons Vs People
    By mokiro in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Aug-2008, 00:11
  4. persons vs. people
    By joenuts in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 13-Jul-2006, 11:15
  5. persons or people
    By ripley in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Nov-2004, 04:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk