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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 1

    Question people or peoples?

    Below given is one of the questions under `apostrophe' in the testing section of

    Question #: 6: The peoples of the world must unite. This is correct.
    User's answer: False
    Correct answer:
    Additional Notes:

    I thought the word `peoples' was incorrect. Please tell me when do we use `peoples' as plural and `people' as plural.

  1. Gёггч's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 96

    Re: people or peoples?

    i often use peoples in these sentences:

    China has 56 peoples.

    The picture of the prehistoric peoples.

    They are trade peoples.

    am i right to use like this?

  2. cyberterm's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 6

    Re: people or peoples?

    As far as I'm concerned People (n) is generally a plural word and it refers to a number of different concepts. BUT there IS an exception by which it could be used as a countable noun and that's when it refers to people who live in a particular area/place, country, etc. etc.

    e.g. The local people(s) of my country. (either single or plural form is correct)
    ' Behnam

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: people or peoples?

    It's from a speech by Kofi Annan of Ghana, the (former) Secretary-General of the United Nations, delivered at the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference, United Nations, 2005. The very last lines of his speech read:
    "The peoples of this world must unite, or they will perish...The atomic bomb has spelled [this] out for all men to understand."


    Is peoples grammatically correct? Yes, and Kofi Annan used it quite effectively too, to describe all the people on this plant, all nations, as a single community. The following is from the Usage Note at
    When peoples means “the entire body of persons who constitute a community or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, etc.,”... The aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere speak many different languages.

    Last edited by Casiopea; 17-Jul-2007 at 14:20.

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