What is the difference between 'persons' and 'people'?

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What is the difference between 'persons' and 'people'?
Are they the same or different ?
Plz explain it with examples..

Thanks in advance.
 

engee30

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What is the difference between 'persons' and 'people'?
Are they the same or different ?
Plz explain it with examples..

Thanks in advance.

They mean the same in most of the cases.
Persons is more frequently used in official reports, instructions etc:
According to the latest surveys, more and more persons become unemployed due to the recession.
Persons under 21 not admitted.

In terms of grammar, however, it's never people:
Be has a couple of additional distinctive subjunctive forms: be in the present tense and were in first and third persons singular past tense.
 

konungursvia

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Persons = formal; people = oral, vernacular.
 

ARUK2008

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I disagree with the first answer.

They are not the same thing.

Persons in used mainly when talking about the first, second and third persons in linguistics.

Persons is used when talking about the "Three persons of the Holy Trinity"

Persons is sometimes used to talk about situations related to laws.

"Person or persons unknown"

Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

Remember that basically, PEOPLE is the PLURAL form of PERSON.
 

Barb_D

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I think your answer comports with engee's quite well. What points do you disagree on?

Persons is used in some legal/formal/official situations.
People is NOT used in grammar.

You both essentially said said that.
 

ARUK2008

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This is my point of view:

Last time I was asked the same question. What's the difference between PERSONS AND PEOPLE? Is PERSONS the PLURAL OF PEOPLE? NO, it is not the plural of people.

So if somebody who is not a native speaker (let's say an elementary student) reads the first answer, he/she would think that they ARE THE SAME. That both PERSONS AND PLURAL are the same thing except in some cases related to grammar and laws.

tHANk u...
 

engee30

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people - person
'people'
People is a plural noun. You use a plural form of a verb after it.

People is most commonly used to refer to a particular group of men and women.
There were 120 people at the lecture.
We'll talk to the people concerned and see how they feel.


People can also be used to refer to a group of men, women, and children.
...the Great Fire of Chicago, when 250 people were killed.

You often use people to refer to all the men, women, and children of a particular country, tribe, or race.
The American people were antagonistic to his regime.

'peoples'
When you are referring to the men, women, and children of several countries, tribes, or races, you can use the plural form peoples.
Mediterranean peoples gesticulate more freely than northern Europeans.

Another use of 'people'
People can also be used to say that something is generally done.
People have an enduring tendency to protect what they have.
She could not resist being unkind to people.


'person'
Person is a count noun. A person is an individual man, woman, or child.
There was far too much meat for one person.
They think you are a suitable person to join the church.


The usual plural of 'person' is people, but in formal English persons is sometimes used.
The bomb exploded killing 111 persons.

by Collins Cobuild
 

ARUK2008

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Person, persons, people, peoples - WordReference Forums

"Notice that legal and very formal texts still use persons as the plural form.
One distinction that was proposed was to use persons as long as there was a countable number of individuals (e.g., 67 persons left the school) and people when such a number was large and indefinite (e.g., the people left the stadium quickly). The rule did not catch on, though, and some writers still use people even when there is a definite or small number of individuals."

I'd say: PERSONS is RARELY used...

Thank u!
 
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