First of all English isn't my first language so bear with me if you see any grammar mistakes here and there.

So my question is: can we use 'a/an' for plural pronouns? For example, "they are a good people".

If we can, how to use the correct indefinite article according to the correct grammar? But if we can't, can you give me the reasons?

1 Answer 1


The tricky thing to understand here is that, while both "they are good people" and "they are a good people" are perfectly valid, they mean different things.

"They are good people' means that the group of people comprising "they" are, individually, good people.

But when you use the construction "a people" you are assumed to be referring not to the individuals but to the community. "They are a good people" would thus imply, if you are discussing citizens of the city of Mamatuti, that it was in the character of all Mamatitians to be "good".

  • why? i mean, how? aren't citizens of the city mamatuti counted as plural?
    – gina wulan
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 4:27
  • 1
    'A people' in the singular means a nation or community. Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 9:25

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