Plural of Person
The Quick AnswerThe most common plural of person is people. It is possible to use the plural persons in certain situations.
The Plural of PersonThe most common plural of person is people.
- If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
- Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.
- Persons of interest are being questioned following the disappearance of a pregnant woman from Little Village three weeks ago.
- You must act with other regulated persons in a manner consistent with persons having mutual trust and confidence in each other.
Are You Good at Plurals?Here's a quick test.
The Standard Rules for Forming the PluralsThe table below shows the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English.
|Type||Example of Type||Forming the Plural||Plural|
|Most Nouns|| person
|add s|| persons
|Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z|| bus
|add es|| buses
|Nouns ending [consonant] o|| potato|
|add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
|Nouns ending [vowel] o|| patio
|add s|| patios
|Nouns ending [consonant] y|| story
|change the y to an i and add es|| stories
|Nouns ending [vowel] y|| storey ()
|add s|| storeys
|Nouns ending f or fe|| dwarf
|ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
|some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change||
|More exceptions|| salmon
|some nouns do not change at all|| salmon
Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Person?There is confusion because person typically has an irregular way of forming its plural. It's possible to write persons, but this is only acceptable when written as part of a law or a ruling. For example:
- Persons of interest
- Missing persons
Don't Use an Apostrophe to Form a PluralAdding 's is never an option when forming the plural of a noun. Despite this simple rule, inexperienced writers often feel compelled to add an apostrophe, especially when the noun ends with a vowel (e.g., piano, tomato, emu). For example:
- Mango's are low in calories.
- Mangoes are low in calories.
Read more about using apostrophes.