I am not sure whether this is Longman official online dictionary, and I think this sentence may need some improvement.

This was my first experience of living with other people.

Technically, most of people's first experience of living with other people could be living with his/her parents.

So, does "other people" mean people that are not his/her parents in common sense?

  • First of all, that sentence on its own—without context—doesn't actually say that the other people aren't the narrator's parents. It could have been told from the perspective of a baby. (I'm reminded of the movie Look Who's Talking Now.) Jul 23, 2019 at 10:43

2 Answers 2


First, I would say that most people's first experience of living with people would be living with their parents. Therefore, most people's first experience of living with other people would be living with someone other than their parents.

That said, I think we need to be careful not to overanalyze simple example sentences from a dictionary. Your question reminds me of people who debate whether we have ten fingers or eight, because maybe a thumb isn't "technically" a finger. Most people can figure out such technicalities through context.

In the right context, we can usually figure out which group "other people" refers to. In the context of living in a house, "other people" often means people outside of their immediate family. In another context, though, it might mean something totally different. For example, in a school, "other people" might refer to the staff:

Ted: We need to survey the faculty and see if they are happy with the new school policies.
Ned: Not just the faculty, we should survey other people too.

In that context, "other people" might refer to custodians, lunchroom cooks, office secretaries, etc.

  • In certain situations, living with other people might mean the first time they're just not living alone. e.g. an orphan now living in close proximity with foster parents (instead of just being located with other orphans/staff in an orphanage). Usually though it's kids moving out of the family home to live in residences with other kids/adults though.
    – Smock
    Jul 23, 2019 at 12:17

No, this sentence is fine as it is, any native speaker will understand this to mean "living away from home". Your assumption that this refers to parents is reasonable, but should also include any other type of guardian, a care-home, etc.

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