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DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Help on English vocab, including idioms, slang and sayings

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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby Josef » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:11 am

Tukanja: whichever sense of the word people you want to use, it is always countable - in English anyway, I can't speak for other languages :mrgreen:
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby Tukanja » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:35 am

Seems to me that I should have written the definite article the as a determiner instead of the determiner this. (In the sentence I think I used the word this as a determiner and not as a pronoun. All right, using "this' this way isn't customary in English, I've got it. :-) )

I think I could have said,' This nation will not vote for him.' but in the era of globalisation and mixing people all around the world I said people instead of nation.

The people will not vote for him.(could be the solution)

These people will not vote for him has a different sense for me. It means that I was looking at a few man whose number was known when I said the sentence using the determiner these for a group of men around me.
I could also have said Those people will not vote for him. (If I am not with them)

In addition

She was the people's princess.

Is the noun people countable here in the sentence?

It sounds a bit strange to me to say She was the population's princess, isn't it?
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby Josef » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:42 am

Actually, if you meant people in the second sense (which was not the sense we were talking about when you made your post :~: ), then your sentence is possible:
This people will not vote for him. (= This nation will not vote for him.)

(At the time the discussion was about people versus persons, so I thought that you were using people as the plural of person.)

She was the people's princess.
Is the noun people countable here in the sentence?

Yes, it's countable.

People is always countable :-|
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby kittyhoang » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:39 pm

Tukanja wrote:If you are willing to wait just a few decades I'll write a novel in the language and send it to you with my autograph. ;-) :-D


LOL, you are so humorous. To wait for a few decades, I think I will have some novels issued too. It will be a souvenir gift for you. :oops:

@Josef/Takanja/Constance/dngipson,
Thanks for your discussion. I now learn more about the usage of people and person.
However in the exams, I think I should only use the normal usage of "person" as a singular countable noun and "people" as a plura countable noun to ensure I don't fail my exams.
When I want to use "persons" as a plural noun and "people" as a singular noun, it must be understood in context.
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby Tukanja » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:42 pm

kittyhoang wrote:When I want to use "persons" as a plural noun and "people" as a singular noun, it must be understood in the context.


You're welcome. :-D

Have a nice weekend.
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby Josef » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:32 pm

Tukanja wrote:
kittyhoang wrote:When I want to use "persons" as a plural noun and "people" as a singular noun, it must be understood from the context.
:mrgreen:
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby Tukanja » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:22 pm

Yep! :mrgreen:

Thanks :-D
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby pedagog » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:51 am

The info from joseph is correct. Some authorities (Strunk, for example) hold that "The word people is not to be used with words of number, in place of persons." {The Elements of Style, 1918} I disagree with this very old idea, particularly when Strunk gives such a flimsy example: "If of 'six people' five went away, how many 'people' would be left?" You can see how his example is silly if you substitute "geese" for "people". Sometimes the use of "the people" is vague, as the other answer shows. Out of context, we can't be sure if it means the populace or the people in an elevator. In these modern times, we aren't so strict as to limit people to mean only populace. We often accept it as the plural of persons, especially when the number is large. In legal and governmental use, persons is much more common than people when noting any easily counted group: "Sixteen persons witnessed the accident." One other use of people has become popular in recent years, although it makes me wince: those under the supervision or employ of someone. Example "My people will meet with your people to work out a contract."
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby pedagog » Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:06 am

Regarding this "countable" business: Don't confuse "countable" with "plural". In fact, people is always plural, as is peoples. You would never say "The people is revolting." We compare countable with measurable. Countable nouns need "many" or "fewer". Measurable nouns need "much" or "less". Some nouns can be used in either a countable or measurable sense, such as "troubles". Example: "His troubles are less than mine," means they are not as great or as serious as mine. "His troubles are fewer than mine," means he has a smaller number of troubles than I. We also accept some numbers as milestones or thresholds where either less or fewer can apply, such as "Less than a hundred men fought on the side of Spain in that battle."
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Re: DIFFERENCE OF PERSON AND PEOPLE

Postby kittyhoang » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:14 pm

Josef wrote:
Tukanja wrote:
kittyhoang wrote:When I want to use "persons" as a plural noun and "people" as a singular noun, it must be understood from the context.
:mrgreen:

I noted this.
Many thanks.
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