People vs. Persons? What is the difference?

people persons man English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary  One person     people town group English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary Many people

Students will often mistakenly use the word persons to refer to more than one person. “There were three persons at the bus stop.” “A lot of persons in my country don’t like dogs.”

However, in the U.S., we don’t use the plural form of person in casual English. The plural persons is used only in official contexts.

person wanted cowboys poster English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary The police are seeking five persons of interest in connection to the bank robbery.

missing persons English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary The city might have an office for missing persons.

airport security persons English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary Airport security might tell people what it is okay or not okay to carry on their persons when passing through a checkpoint.

In any other context, we use the irregular plural people.

meeting office people English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary   The people who came to the meeting reached an agreement.

gym people exercise English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary   There were a lot of people at the gym this morning.

girls women students classroom English school learn student ESL grammar vocabulary Some of the people in my class weren’t paying attention.

 

So remember, unless you are in uniform, one person, two people.

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