Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Let's say we are talking about the indigenous pukapuka who live in Pluto.

What is correct: "the pukapuka people" or "the pukapuka peoples"?

I've read somewhere the usage of "peoples" in this context, and it has surprised me.

share|improve this question
The native peoples of Canada. –  kiamlaluno Sep 3 '10 at 9:37
Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples. –  MT_Head Jun 8 '11 at 0:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 24 down vote accepted

"Peoples" means a group of populations. So for example "the native American peoples" means the tribes that were living in America before Columbus. "the pukapuka peoples" would mean "the group of tribes/groups collectively known as pukapuka", whereas "the pukapuka people" would mean "the group of people known as (the) pukapuka (tribe/group/etc.)"

share|improve this answer
Right. Person = an individual human being. People= a group of persons. Peoples= a group of such groups. –  T.E.D. Jun 7 '11 at 17:32

"People: Persons composing community, tribe, race, or nation."


share|improve this answer

protected by tchrist Feb 22 at 3:53

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.