I often confuse the two phrases.

My Google search for them has shown that the use of "tens of thousands of people" is overwhelmingly popular compared to "tens of thousands people".

Based on the search result, I first thought that the use of "tens of thousands people" was wrong, but later found a BBC news article employing the two similar phrases in it as below.

An unprecedented economic crisis in Lebanon has pushed tens of thousands people into poverty and triggered the largest anti-government protests the country has seen in more than a decade.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese took to the streets, leading to the resignation of of Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his unity government.

Are both phrases just interchangeable? If there is any difference between them?

  • 1
    This is a typographical error, or possibly an editorial error when wording was changed from something like pushed over fifty thousand people into poverty or pushed tens of thousands into poverty. You are correct that it should read tens of thousands of people.
    – choster
    Aug 2, 2020 at 2:06
  • @Jason: I used "people" and "years" for my search.
    – Takashi
    Aug 2, 2020 at 2:20
  • @choster: Thanks. Actually, the one I quoted from BBC is not the only example. An article from The Washington Post, for example, says "Beef traders say the ban will make tens of thousands people jobless." There are some more similar examples too. Can I just assume they are all some kind of errors? washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/06/…
    – Takashi
    Aug 2, 2020 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


To talk about a large number of something (in an exaggerated way), we can use the phrase :

tens of (thousands/millions/billions) of (something).

Therefore, "Tens of thousands of people" is the correct phrase. "Tens of thousands people" is not correct.

  • Thanks. If that is the case, what do you think of the phrase I quoted from a BBC news article? As "choster", a commenter, commented above, do you think it is a typo?
    – Takashi
    Aug 2, 2020 at 5:17
  • Yes, that may be a typo. Aug 4, 2020 at 13:25

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