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What is the plural form of the word"person"?If it's people,so what does "persons"mean?
Jun 4, 2013 3:25 PM
Answers · 3
"Persons" is NOT the plural for person, "people" is the plural for person. The only time you can use "persons" is when you are talking about the general, abstract form of people. Unless you use "persons" in this very limited context, your usage will be incorrect. For example: CORRECT: People today are much busier than the people of 50 years ago. INCORRECT: Persons of today are much busier than persons of 50 years ago. The reason that sentence two is incorrect is because there is no 'general, abstract thought' here. The sentence is about a whole group, not about any idea, thought, or imagined individual. BUT, check out the next sentence. CORRECT: Persons with a disability should seek shelter here. CORRECT: People with a disability should seek shelter here. The difference between the first and second sentence is that the first is trying to express a polite, abstract idea of talking to one person but knowingly addresses a group of individuals. The second sentence, however, is not addressing an individual, but, rather, is addressing the whole group and is thus being more direct. REMEMBER: Unless you use "persons" in the abstract form, it will be incorrect - at least in American English, which is what I, personally, teach. In other dialects of English, it may be different. It's always better to use "people" if you need to use the plural of "person". Hope this helps! :)
June 4, 2013
Both "people" and "persons" are plural forms of "person." But, "persons" isn't used very often ... at least not in conversation. You will hear "people" used much more often.
June 4, 2013
According to Mac Milan Dictionary: 1 an individual human, usually an adult.The plural is "people", but in formal or official language the form persons is used. EX: Rooms cost £20 per person. She’s the type of person who always offers to wash up after a party. Every single person in the room stopped talking. Some people hate camping. elderly/​eligible/​unemployed persons 1a. used for saying that someone likes a particular thing or activity. EX: Janet has always been a bit of an outdoor person. I don’t like takeaways. I’m not a fast food person. 1b. used when you do not know who did something. Ex: Some stupid person left the cooker on all night.He has been charged with supplying heroin to persons unknown. 2. (very formal) your body, or the clothes that you are wearing. Ex: His person had been searched without legal authority. **on/​about someone’s person**: She always carried a small pair of scissors about her person. ot know who did somethingSom Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners CD-ROM 2nd Edition. CD-ROM © Macmillan Publishers Limited 2007. Text © A&C Black Publishers Ltd 2007.
June 4, 2013
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