I saw a sign in an elevator that stated the capacity as "15 persons". What is the rule for when to use "persons" vs. "people"?


1 Answer 1


People is always plural, so you can only use it with 2 or more persons. It is often used to refer to persons as a group in general.

Person(s) can be singular or plural, so you can use it with 1 or more persons. It is more suitable for counting as in the case of the maximum number of people allowed in an elevator.

  • 1
    Kindly refrain from answering duplicates.
    – tchrist
    Feb 11, 2018 at 15:34
  • 2
    'People is always plural' is not phrased well, as you can use 'a people' / but also 'various peoples'. Feb 11, 2018 at 15:46
  • Sorry, but the app doesn't seem to show duplicate questions like it does when I submit a question from a computer and web browser. Feb 11, 2018 at 23:06

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