I was translating a sentence for school en Español and I came across the word "
people." I looked it up on Google Translate and it gave me "
personas" and also "
gente." What is the difference between the two, and the use case for each of these nouns?
The distinction is easier to see when you consider things in terms of countability. In this sense,
Example in terms of counting:
Example in terms of not counting:
This is perfectly valid, but sounds a bit awkward for daily use. Regional usage will differ in this fact, I'm sure. That said,
I hope this helps! :)
Gente is called a "collective" noun, for "people," in general.
Persona(s), on the other hand, refer to INDIVIDUAL "people."
Creo y espero no equivocarme, que la palabra "gente" siempre se ha referido a una multitud o a mas de una persona. Si yo digo, tu, (o en mi caso) vos sos una buena persona, sería, para mi modo de ver las cosas y mas que nada y MUY importante, lo que me enseñaron en la escuela, es mas que equivocado decirte que vos sos buena "gente".
I'm not so sure that any of these examples are crystal clear, so let me give it a try:
Persona/s= An individual or several individuals of the human race. Example: Hablé con una persona de la organización (I spoke with A PERSON from the organización).
Gente= a set of "personas" forming a group. Example: Hablé con la gente de la organización (I spoke with THE PEOPLE from the organization).
Persona/s are individual people, or several people, but in principle you could count them up. So saying "me gusta las personas aqui" (I like the people here) is wrong. If you like a person "here," then you could for example say "me gusta una persona se llama Beatriz (I like a person named Beatriz. That's not wrong, but it sounds stilted.
Gente are a group of people. You couldn't literally count them up yourself. You could say "me gusta la gente aqui" (I like the people here). Not one person but everybody collectively.