2

A little while ago, I was listening to the radio show "A way with words" (episode: Upstairs basement 9 June 2014) when I heard the host Grant saying that phrase. I had to do a little research and confirmed that "another" can only be used with singular nouns and not with plural nouns. People is a plural noun.

If you conduct a COCA search, you'll get 74 hits as of this writing from different register sources. I know that people can have the meaning of "all the men, women and children who live in a particular country" as in "The French are known as a food-loving people.". Because of time constraints I cannot go any further, and curiosity makes me want to know now and not later whether this usage is informal. Is it so?

Another as a determiner (From Cambridge's website)

We use another with singular nouns:

  • Would you like another cup of coffee?
  • You’ve met Linda, but I have another sister who you haven’t met, called Margaret.
  • I don’t like this place. Is there another café around here we could go to? (alternative or different)

Another: typical errors - Another is singular. We don’t use it with plural nouns:

Other interesting places to visit include the old harbour and the castle.

Not: Another interesting places to visit...

  • 4
    When people is used like society, as in your own example regarding the French, it is a singular noun. And the usage is not "informal." – user6951 Nov 4 '14 at 18:46
  • 1
    Another synonym for people here is population. Just like society, this word refers to a single group made of many parts. – Jason Patterson Nov 4 '14 at 18:55
3

As this comment points out, a people is possible with the specific meaning "The members of a particular nation, community, or ethnic group" (Oxford Dictionaries), and so of course another people is possible when this is what's intended.

In this particular A Way With Words podcast, however, people isn't being used that way. In this case your problem stems from mishearing and other as another. The speaker didn't pronounce the /d/ in and, so it ended up sounding the same as if he'd said another. We're left to context to figure out which was actually spoken, and as you observed yourself, using another people this way would be quite strange, so we can tell it must be and other.

Why plural, then, and not and another person said? Because the speaker was giving representative samples of the discussion and (apparently) multiple people said things like the quotes he gave.

  • To be honest, I was listening to the show "in the background" while I was browsing a book! It's not an excuse though because my listening skills are not on par with native speakers yet. I never thought of the case where it might be "and other"! Thank you very much @snailboat – learner Nov 4 '14 at 21:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.