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When to use 们 to talk about groups of people?


Hi @YuQinCai, @Constance_Fang @Fiona and the ChinesePod team, my question is this:

Hi guys,

I’ve noticed that CP doesn’t typically use 们 for anything other than the standard 我们, 你们 etc. But elsewhere I’ve seen it used to refer to other groups, such as 孩子们 and 朋友们.

Do you have any advice on when to use or not use 们 in these cases? thanks!


Here I can offer some basic rules using 们.
Usually you don’t need to use 们 to indicate plural. Look at these examples below.

  • 我有很多朋友
    很多 is already said 们 is redundant.
  • 最近生病,但是朋友(们)都很关心我
    Even without 们 in this sentence 朋友 is assumed plural since you didn’t say “有一个”朋友, and there’s 都 after 朋友. But you can still use 朋友们 here to emphasize “many friends”.

You can use 们 after human words like 朋友, 亲戚, 兄弟 but when there’s already number of it you can’t use 们 .
For example, we never say *我有三个好朋友们。

  • 我有三个好朋友 is correct.


Ah, thank you once again YuQinCai!