Hi, I’m Dan from BBC Learning English and today I’m going to talk to you about person and persons, people and peoples.
A person is a human man, woman, or child. It is a singular countable noun. There was one person at the door.
The plural of person is people. It refers to a group or a number of human beings. It is a plural countable noun. There were three people at the door.
So how about persons?
Persons is a plural countable noun. It's similar to people, but it's considered more polite and more formal. It’s most often seen written down. This lift can hold a maximum of 15 persons.
Peoples is the countable plural form of people and comes from the other meaning of people. People can mean nation. The Aztecs were a people that lived in the Americas. Or, there are many peoples living on the Earth. They are all human - so far.