When we refer to a human being, we say a person. For example, a nice person, the last person to attend the conference and so on…
When there are many human beings or individuals, we refer to them as persons. Example,
· Three persons came asking about you.
· I was one of the few persons who were recognized for their good work.
Note that ‘persons’ is used in a very formal sense. In fact, most of the times in legal documents or contexts.
We often use people in place of persons to indicate a group of human beings. We can say,
· Three people came asking about you.
· I was one of the few people who were recognized for their good work.
The three or few human beings are collectively called as people. People is a general term used for a group of persons.
This means people is a plural word already.
So, what is peoples?
Peoples refers to members of a particular community, nation or ethnicity. This can be a race or a tribe. Example – the native peoples of India speak at least 2 different local dialects.
So, we can say peoples as a group of people that belong to a particular community and live in a certain region. Example –
Different peoples of India speak different languages and follow diverse traditions.
Sometimes, we can get confused between the words ‘peoples’ and ‘pupils’.
Pupil (in the current context) is a student, a scholar or a person who learns from a teacher or another learned person. Pupils is the plural of pupil and refers to a group of students or scholars.
· Our pupils are capable of making great scientific breakthroughs, with the infrastructure available in our premises.
· The pupils were the library when the warden came for inspection.
Since people and pupil sound somewhat similar, they can be confused easily. Note that pupil is a singular noun, whereas people is plural. Pupil refers to only students while people is a general notation for any group of individuals.
Keep these tips in mind to always use the right word at the right time and place.