Ana
Is it correct to say “persons”? We have always been taught that person is always singular and that the plural is people. However, this is not completely true... So, when is it correct to say ”persons”? Thanks a lot
Oct 13, 2018 5:38 PM
Answers · 13
people is the plural of person. However, 'persons' is used in official language like 'maximum 8 persons' in a lift/elevator, or 'persons of interest' by the police. It is NOT used in normal conversation. NOBODY says 'there were 10 persons at my barbeque' That's totally strange! a 'person' is also a legal term, meaning not you, the human, but the legal you, where your name is in capital letters on all legal documents.. although most people don't find out anything about the law.
October 13, 2018
Person, persons or people? We use person in the singular to refer to any human being: Joel is such a nice person. She’s a person I have a lot of respect for. Persons (plural) is a very formal word. We only use it in rather legalistic contexts: [notice in a lift] Any person or persons found in possession of illegal substances will be prosecuted. To refer to groups of human beings or humans in general, we use people: I saw three people standing on the corner. Not: I saw three persons … Jim and Wendy are such nice people. People are generally very selfish. Three people were interviewed for the job, but only one person had the right qualifications and experience. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/person-persons-or-people
October 13, 2018
En registros formales o documentos legales es frecuente encontrarse con la palabra "persons". Simplemente le da cierto grado de formalidad.
October 13, 2018
In ordinary conversations, you will probably never hear anyone say "persons." It would sound pretentious and unnatural except perhaps in a legal setting.
October 13, 2018
Generally, persons is a okay substitute for individuals. Its used more in legal language though.
October 13, 2018
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Ana
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language
English