Understanding the Difference Between People and Person

March 13, 2024


People vs. Person

The English language can be confusing at times, and two commonly used words that often lead to mix-ups are ‘people’ and ‘person’. While they both refer to individuals, there are key differences in their usage.


‘Person’ comes from the Latin word ‘persona’, which originally referred to a theatrical mask. It eventually evolved to mean an individual human being. ‘People’, on the other hand, has its roots in the Latin ‘populus’, which means a group or community of individuals.

How to Use:

– ‘Person’ is used to refer to an individual, one single human being.

– ‘People’ is used to refer to a group of individuals, more than one person.

Trick to Remember the Difference:

One way to remember the difference is that ‘person’ has the word ‘son’ in it, which can remind you that it refers to a single individual, like a single son in a family. ‘People’ has ‘peo’, which doesn’t mean anything but is a helpful visual cue that it refers to a group of individuals.

Examples – Person:

  • She is a talented person and a great artist.
  • Each person in the room has a unique perspective.
  • The injured person was taken to the hospital.
  • As a young person, he traveled around the world.
  • Every person is entitled to their own opinion.

Examples – People:

  • Many people attended the concert last night.
  • The people of the town rallied together to support the local charity.
  • These people are experts in their field.
  • Young people often have idealistic views of the world.
  • Do you know these people who live next door?


In summary, ‘person’ refers to an individual, while ‘people’ refers to a group of individuals. Remember the trick of ‘son’ in ‘person’ for one individual, and ‘peo’ in ‘people’ for a group. By understanding the distinction between these two words, you can communicate more effectively in English.