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Folks vs. People: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
'Folks' typically refers to a group of people in a familiar, colloquial sense, while 'people' is a more general term for any group of individuals.
Folks vs. People

Key Differences

Folks often conveys a sense of warmth and familiarity, commonly used to address a group in a casual, friendly manner. People, in contrast, is a more formal and general term, used to refer to any group of humans, regardless of their relationship or familiarity.
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Nov 24, 2023
The term 'folks' can imply a certain cultural or communal identity, often used to signify a sense of belonging or commonality within a group. 'People', however, is more neutral, describing any collection of individuals without necessarily implying a shared identity or closeness.
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Folks is frequently used in informal speech and writing, reflecting a conversational tone. People is more versatile, fitting both formal and informal contexts, and is the standard choice in more official or academic writing.
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In terms of inclusivity, 'folks' can be seen as a more inclusive and gender-neutral way to address a group, compared to terms like 'guys' or 'ladies and gentlemen'. 'People' is inherently inclusive and broadly applicable to all human beings.
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While 'folks' often carries a sense of friendliness and informality, 'people' can be used to refer to populations, demographics, or groups in a more impersonal, statistical sense.
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Comparison Chart

Tone

Informal, friendly.
Neutral, formal or informal.
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Usage Context

Casual conversations, informal writing.
Both formal and informal contexts.
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Implication

Implies familiarity or communal identity.
More general, without specific implications.
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Nov 24, 2023

Formality

Less formal, more colloquial.
Appropriate for formal and academic use.
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Nov 24, 2023

Inclusivity

Often used as a gender-neutral term.
Broadly inclusive of all humans.
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Folks and People Definitions

Folks

A term denoting people of a specific group or community.
The local folks are very welcoming to visitors.
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Nov 24, 2023

People

A group of individuals regarded collectively.
A group of people gathered to protest.
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Nov 24, 2023

Folks

An informal way to refer to people in general.
Folks around here are known for their hospitality.
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Nov 24, 2023

People

A demographic or population segment.
The survey targeted people aged 30 to 40.
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Nov 24, 2023

Folks

Refers to one's parents or family in an informal context.
I'm visiting my folks this weekend.
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People

Humans considered as a group or in indefinite numbers. Often treated as a plural of person, alone and in compounds
People were dancing in the street. I met all sorts of people. This book is not intended for laypeople.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

Used to address a group in a friendly manner.
Folks, please gather around for the announcement.
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Nov 24, 2023

People

The mass of ordinary persons; the populace. Used with the
"those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes" (Thomas Jefferson).
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Folks

The common people of a society or region considered as the representatives of a traditional way of life and especially as the originators or carriers of the customs, beliefs, and arts that make up a distinctive culture
A leader who came from the folk.
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People

A body of persons living in the same country under one national government; a nationality.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

(Archaic) A nation; a people.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The citizens of a political unit, such as a nation or state; the electorate. Used with the.
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Folks

Folks(Informal) People in general
Folks around here are very friendly.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Pl. peo·ples A body of persons sharing a common religion, culture, or language
The peoples of central Asia.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

Often folks People of a specified group or kind
City folks.
Rich folk.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Persons with regard to their residence, class, profession, or group
City people.
Farming people.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

One's parents
My folks are coming for a visit.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Persons subordinate to or loyal to a ruler, superior, or employer
The manager would like to introduce you to our people in the regional office.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

The members of one's family or childhood household; one's relatives.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

A person's family, relatives, or ancestors
Where are your people from?.
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Folks

Of, occurring in, or originating among the common people
Folk culture.
A folk hero.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(Informal) Animals or other beings distinct from humans
Rabbits and squirrels are the furry little people of the woods.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

Plural of folk
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People

To settle or inhabit with people; populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

Your parents;
He wrote to his folks every day
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Oct 19, 2023

People

To be present in or on (a place)
"The stores ... are peopled by serious shoppers" (Perri Klass).
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Oct 19, 2023

Folks

A colloquial term for a group of people.
Good evening, folks! Welcome to our café.
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Nov 24, 2023

People

Used as plural of person; a body of human beings considered generally or collectively; a group of two or more persons.
There were so many people at the restaurant last night.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(countable) Persons forming or belonging to a particular group, such as a nation, class, ethnic group, country, family, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

A group of persons regarded as being employees, followers, companions or subjects of a ruler.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

One's colleagues or employees.
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People

A person's ancestors, relatives or family.
My people lived through the Black Plague and the Thirty Years War.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The mass of a community as distinguished from a special class (elite); the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; the citizens.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Plural of person.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(transitive) To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(intransitive) To become populous or populated.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(transitive) To inhabit; to occupy; to populate.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

To interact with people; to socialize.
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People

The body of persons who compose a community, tribe, nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a whole; a community; a nation.
Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
The ants are a people not strong.
Before many peoples, and nations, and tongues.
Earth's monarchs are her peoples.
A government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Persons, generally; an indefinite number of men and women; folks; population, or part of population; as, country people; - sometimes used as an indefinite subject or verb, like on in French, and man in German; as, people in adversity.
People were tempted to lend by great premiums.
People have lived twenty-four days upon nothing but water.
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People

The mass of community as distinguished from a special class; the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; as, nobles and people.
And strive to gain his pardon from the people.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

One's ancestors or family; kindred; relations; as, my people were English.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams.
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Oct 19, 2023

People

(plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively;
Old people
There were at least 200 people in the audience
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The body of citizens of a state or country;
The Spanish people
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Oct 19, 2023

People

The common people generally;
Separate the warriors from the mass
Power to the people
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Members of a family line;
His people have been farmers for generations
Are your people still alive?
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Oct 19, 2023

People

Fill with people or supply with inhabitants;
People a room
The government wanted to populate the remote area of the country
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People

Make one's home or live in;
She resides officially in Iceland
I live in a 200-year old house
These people inhabited all the islands that are now deserted
The plains are sparsely populated
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People

Human beings collectively.
People all over the world celebrated the event.
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Nov 24, 2023

People

The citizens of a specific place.
The people of this town are proud of their heritage.
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People

Members of a particular group or community.
Young people today are very tech-savvy.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is 'people' defined?

A term referring to human beings collectively or in groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

What does 'folks' mean?

It's an informal term for a group of people, often implying familiarity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Can 'folks' be used in formal writing?

It's generally reserved for informal contexts.
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Nov 24, 2023

Is 'people' suitable for all types of communication?

Yes, it's versatile and appropriate in both formal and informal settings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Are 'people' and 'folks' interchangeable?

In many informal contexts, yes, but not in formal or official use.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Do 'folks' imply a certain age group?

No, it's age-neutral and can refer to any group.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Can 'people' refer to a specific community?

Yes, it can denote a particular group or community.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Is 'folks' a respectful term?

Yes, when used appropriately in a friendly or casual context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Does 'folks' have regional variations?

Yes, its usage can vary in different English-speaking regions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Can 'folks' be used in academic writing?

Generally, it's avoided in favor of more formal terms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

What's the origin of 'folks'?

It comes from the Old English 'folc', meaning people or tribe.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Can 'people' be used to address a crowd?

Yes, it's a common way to address groups formally.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

How do 'people' and 'population' differ?

'People' refers to a group of individuals, while 'population' is more statistical.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Are there synonyms for 'people'?

Yes, like individuals, persons, humans, depending on context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

How does 'people' differ in official documents?

It's used to refer to citizens, inhabitants, or populations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

What's the plural form of 'people'?

'People' is already plural; the singular is 'person'.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Can 'folks' be used in business settings?

It depends on the level of informality and company culture.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Is 'folks' ever used to refer to family?

Yes, it can informally refer to one's parents or family.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Does 'folks' have any cultural connotations?

It can imply a down-to-earth, communal sense in certain contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Is 'folks' gender-neutral?

Yes, it's often used as a gender-neutral term.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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