Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Vocabulary & Idiom Questions
Could anyone explain to me the difference between persons and people?
Under what situation should we use the word "persons"?
TiratumPeople - Over 1 billion people live in India. There are many people learning English. I saw 8 people at the cafe.
Peoples- There are many peoples that live on the African continent.
Persons- Typically used in legal contexts. For example: Missing persons, X country can extradite persons for breaking certain laws, Persons owning stock in a company are called shareholders, etc. etc.
-- not "under what situation"
BTW, I would like to clarify the word "peoples".
If we know the approx. no. e.g. 1 billion, we should say "1 billion people".
If we don't know the exact no., we should use "many peoples (for a population?)", am I right?
and "persons", it is usually in law context, but not for daily use. am I right?
In simple terms, it may help you to think of it this way.
When you are thinking of them as a group, say 'people'. When you are thinking of them as individuals, you can choose to say 'persons'.
1. There are X billion people in the world.
2. The police officer asked how many persons were in the car.
'People' is used much more commonly than 'persons'. In example 2, you could say either.
Best wishes, Clive
I have not heard about the word "peoples". Could you say some more about that word? thanks.
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