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  1. Senior Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Sep 2019
    • Posts: 533
    #1

    Persons vs people

    Hello to all,

    As an English teacher, I hear "persons" used a lot by my students and frankly I always tell them it's wrong.

    I mean you can see it in elevators and maybe in some technical context but I have always thought it's wrong to use it in normal conversation.

    Now I want to check with you. Is it okay to use persons in normal conversations and writing.

    Example:

    He was one of the first persons in my family to obtain a PHD.

    Two persons are quite famous in this field.

    I entered the office and some persons were there.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 18,783
    #2

    Re: Persons vs people

    No. No. No.

    We use people as the plural for person in most contexts. You can expect to see persons in legal contexts.

    In the first one we would say:

    He was the first in the family to earn a PhD.
    Not a professional teacher

  3. Senior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Sep 2019
    • Posts: 533
    #3

    Re: Persons vs people

    So I just tell my students forget using persons. Right?

  4. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 3,051
    #4

    Re: Persons vs people

    I would, and do.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 10,212
    #5

    Re: Persons vs people

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    So I just tell my students forget using persons. Right?
    Yes, until they're ready to use it correctly.

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