There are many persons in the classroom
There are many people in the classroom
There are many persons in the classroom
Are "people" and "persons" interchangeable? Thank you.
Alright, this is an interesting case. If you want to sound natural, most English speakers would say, "There are many people in the classroom." "There are many persons in the room," would sound odd and formal, and indeed wrong to some ears, and I would advise against using it in almost all contexts. This is what your teacher was getting at when she corrected you. However, technically speaking, 'persons' is actually correct, and 'people' is wrong in this case. 'Person' is the singular form of the noun and 'persons' is the plural. One person, two persons, three persons, etc. 'People' is the singular form of a different noun, and 'peoples' is its plural form. One people, two peoples, many peoples. Properly speaking, 'one people' refers to one community/nation/group. 'Many peoples' refers to several such communities.
Strunk and White agree, as evinced by this passage from The Elements of Style (3rd Edition):
The word people is best not used with words of number, in place of persons. If of "six people" five went away, how many would be left? Answer: one people.
Note: The thing about six people is there to show why 'people' should not be used for the plural of 'person'. That is, when used consistently, it's clearly wrong. One people is not left. If one people were left, there would be many persons left, because 'a people' is a group of people. One person is left.
However, in conclusion, it is extremely widely accepted even in very formal writing and probably effectively almost correct to use people for the 'plural' of 'person'. The only time you really hear 'persons' is in crime shows and stuff, like if someone were to say "drugs were found on their persons," where 'persons' is referring to their bodies, to say that drugs were found in someone's possession.
I would say, "There are many people in the room," unless my paper were being graded by William Strunk Jr., in which case I would use 'persons'. But with the state of cryogenics these days, I don't think that's likely.
Yes, but people is more common
E teoría y muy en teoría, debe ser "a lot of", many y much , negativa /interrogativa. En éxamenes se lo marcan como incorrecto.
Es decir, no debes usar many en afirmativa, si no, luego se lía la cosa.
You are probably being corrected because "persons" does not sound natural in this context. "Persons" would be used in a more formal document, say of a legal nature, or perhaps in a contract.
When the word "persons" is used in regular speech, the word is usually "person's" or showing possession, which is not the same word at all.
Although the example you used might be grammatically correct, you would never hear it said this way.
In this context you should use, "There are many people in the classroom." Persons is not correct here. Hope that helps.
"People **or persons**" BUT please see below
Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus (Concise edition) says:
"People is the word usually used to refer to more than one individual: 'there were more than one hundred people at the reception'. Persons is rarely used except in official English; 'several persons were interviewed'."
You would normally say in English: There are many* people in the classroom (formal)
or there are lots of people in the classroom (informal) or there are a lot of people
An alternative word for many is **numerous*** and can be used in place of the word many
In summary, nobody likes "persons". As a pure guess, it isn't used because "a person" is somehow an individual and the notion of, for instance, a classroom full of individuals, when you have only had a quick glance at them, is difficult to accept. In practice, "Persons" is a somewhat hypothetical word that dictionaries include, not because anyone ever uses it but because it somehow must exist. The truth, as everyone has said here, is that "people" in the sense you are using is the true, working, accepted plural of "person".
Now. as Heidita says, in this case few people would say "many people"; they would use either "lots of people" or "a lot of people" (please do not expect me to judge between these).
The only common, daily use of "many people" is to home in on a selection of people who do, believe or possess something in common. A A Milne, the creator of Pooh Bear, in his poem "The King's Breakfast" shows you this when he writes "Many people nowadays eat marmalade instead". Try searching for "many people" and you will find that "many people nowadays" is actually the majority use although there are plenty of instances of "many people think/eat/say etc.".
I have a problem with "persons" because when I wrote "persons" my teachers corrected it and put "people" instead. Why?. I have seen "persons" in the dictionary. That does exist. I don't see the problem.
To my knowledge, they have become interchangeable. In the case that you have above, I would prefer the word "people," but that is just my own personal hang-up. lol