Language tip of the week: personPosted by Kati Sule on January 31, 2013
In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.
This week some advice about the noun person:
The usual plural form of person is people (not persons), and this is used in all ordinary contexts:
✗ Children imitate
personsand situations they see on television.
✓ Children imitate people and situations they see on television.
✗ My neighbour is one of the nosiest
✓ My neighbour is one of the nosiest people I know.
The form persons is used only in specialized contexts, especially in laws and legal documents, police reports, and public notices:
The coroner’s verdict was murder by a person or persons unknown.
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