“persons”和“people”的区别,你搞清楚了吗?

其实person和people这两个词,我们都知道,一个是单数,指一个人,另一个是复数,一般指一群人。但是在某些场合,person也会出现复数形式:persons。

比如在电梯中,不知道大家有没有看到过电梯墙壁上会写着类似于Maximum 13 persons的标识语。那么问题来了,同样表示复数,persons和people有什么区别呢?

什么时候用people?

People,作为复数名词,指代两个或两个以上的人。

If Keri is a person and Chris is a person, then Keri and Chris are two people.

如果Keri是一个人,Chris是一个人,那么Keri和Chris是两个人(people)。

People可以用来指代任意一个两人或以上的群体。

Because the weather was so bad, only 700 people attended the baseball game.

因为天气太差,只有700人参加了这场棒球比赛。

什么时候用persons?

过去,persons指具体数量的人,而people用来表达更加笼统宽泛的意思。

You would not use persons in reference to groups of large or indeterminate size, such as a room full of students, the crowd at a football game, or the population of Sudan.

表达指代较大数量人群或不确定数量的人群时,不可以用persons。例如,充满学生的屋子,足球比赛的观赛人群,或者苏丹的人口。

Today, the use of persons has narrowed to specific phrases, usually in a legal or law enforcement context.

现在,persons的用法变得更加有限,只在个别短语中使用,通常是法律法规的条文中。

If you have a small, specific number, like three bank robbers or two runaway children, you might choose to say persons of interest or missing persons instead, as the case may be.

如果你想表达的是一个较小的、具体的数字,比如三个银行劫匪或者两个走丢的孩子,你可以说persons of interest (嫌疑犯),或者missing persons(走丢人口)。

The police are searching for three persons of interest in connection with the armed robbery of a bank Tuesday night.

警方正在搜寻与周四的银行持械抢劫案有关的几名嫌疑犯。

除开以上这几种情况外,persons一般很少用到。

(沪江)