Grammar Patterns

Plural nouns

The 'people' group

These nouns refer to groups of people. Some of them are always or typically preceded by the: see Section 14.
My in-laws are coming over for dinner.
The masses have the right to elect their president.
Many people might be surprised by the extent of the change that has taken place recently.
I'd pull those troops out right now.
  • all-comers
  • ancients
  • armed forces
  • authorities
  • boat people
  • brethren
  • chattering classes
  • city fathers
  • clergy
  • cognoscenti
  • country people
  • craftspeople
  • dramatis personae
  • dregs
  • emergency services
  • fellow
  • folk
  • forces
  • fuzz
  • gentry
  • glitterati
  • greats
  • hoi polloi
  • in-laws
  • kin
  • kith and kin
  • lads
  • literati
  • masses
  • menfolk
  • military police
  • paratroops
  • people
  • personnel
  • police
  • progeny
  • ranks
  • reinforcements
  • rowdies
  • scum
  • shock troops
  • staff
  • townsfolk
  • townspeople
  • tradespeople
  • troops
  • womenfolk
  • working people
  • workpeople
  • youth
  • Some nouns which refer to groups of people, for example nobility and public, are collective nouns: that is, they can be followed by either a singular or a plural verb. See Section 7.

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