Personal vs Personnel
It is very important to clearly understand the difference between personal and personal as they are a pair of words that sound similar, but have different meanings. Those who do not have English as their native language remain confused and cannot make out the difference between personal and personnel. The problem here is compounded with both words pertaining to people or individuals. However, there is a distinct difference between personal and personnel in terms of their usage. Therefore, this article intends to clarify the meanings of both words, personal and personnel, with their correct usage and their correct meanings.
What do Personnel mean?
Personnel are a word that means people who work in an organization. According to the Oxford English dictionary, the definition for the word personnel is as follows. Personnel are “people employed in an organization or engaged in an organized undertaking such as military service.” The dictionary pronounces this word personnel to be a plural noun. So, there is a personnel manager in the organization and he oversees personnel policies. If you are in a factory trying to find the products that you need to sell in your retail shop, manager of the factory comes forward and tells you that his personnel will help you out with matching products. Here, the word personnel correctly indicates the employees working in the factory who can very well and easily match the products you are looking with those that are made in the factory. Therefore, personnel relates to a group of people. Moreover, the word personnel is a noun.
What does Personal mean?
Personal is a word that means private or one’s own. When you talk about personal belongings, personal matter, personal baggage, you are referring to that which is yours, belongs to you. Unlike personnel that relates to a group of people, personal relates to a single person. Another difference between personal and personnel is that while personnel is a noun, personal is an adjective. Hence, it is always personnel training and not personal training while it is always personal belongings and not personnel belongings.
Though personal is generally considered an adjective personal is used as a noun with an s to the end. However, this use of personals, the noun, can be seen chiefly in North America. Personals mean “an advertisement or message in the personal column of a newspaper.” Look at the following example,
They have been communicating through personals advertisements for the past two years.
What is the difference between Personal and Personnel?
• Personal is an adjective meaning private or one’s own whereas personnel is a noun referring to a group of people working in an organization.
• When you share your opinion, you say that it is your personal opinion while when you talk about the employees of an organization, you talk about the personnel of the company.
• Personal relates to a single person whereas personnel relates to a group of people.
• Personal is used as a noun in the form personals.
• Personnel are a plural noun.