Difference Between Personal and Personnel (With Table)

In the English language, various types of words exist which have similar pronunciation. Personal and personnel are two of them. However, to understand each of the words clearly, it is more important to understand how these two words differ from each other. Although they sound similar, they differ according to their meaning and use in a sentence.

The use of these words is about either individuals or people. Distinctive differences exist between the two words, personal and personnel. This article would clarify how personal is different from personnel. The correct usage and correct meaning of two words, personal and personnel, would be discussed here.

Personal vs Personnel

The difference between personal and personnel is that Personal can be used sometimes as an adjective and sometimes as a noun, in the form of personals. However, personnel is always considered as a noun. Personal refers to a single human. However, personnel refers to a bunch of humans. Personal is singular. In contrast, personnel are plural in nature.

The word personal means owning something privately. When an opinion is being shared, it is being told that it is someone’s personal opinion. Personal is singular. Personal refers to a single human. The use of personal is done as an adjective. Personal can be used sometimes as an adjective and sometimes as a noun, in the form of personals. Personal is pronounced as “person-uhl”.

The term personnel refers to human capital or a bunch of people working together in a firm. The use of personnel comes into use while referring to the working human capital or employees of a firm or organisation. Personnel are plural in nature. Personnel refers to a bunch of humans. Personnel is used as a noun. Personnel is always considered as a noun. The term personnel is pronounced as “perso-nell”.

Comparison Table Between Personal and Personnel

Parameters of ComparisonPersonalPersonnel
MeaningPersonal means owning something privately.Personnel refers to human capital or a bunch of people working together in a firm.
PronunciationPerson-uhl Perso-nell
UseWhen an opinion is being shared, it is being told that it is someone’s personal opinion.The use of personnel comes into use while referring to the working human capital or employees of a firm or organisation.
Nature SingularPlural
Reference with No. of humansPersonal refers to a single human. Personnel refers to a bunch of humans.
Parts of speechAdjective Noun
Also used as Personal can be used sometimes as an adjective and sometimes as a noun, in the form of personals. Personnel is always considered as a noun.

What is Personal?

When people discuss personal matters, personal belongings, personal baggage, then it means that it is really being referred to as something which is theirs and solely belongs to them. Thus, the term personal can be used synonymously with private. The use of personal is done as an adjective. Personal can be used sometimes as an adjective and sometimes as a noun, in the form of personals.

However, it relates to only an individual. On the other hand, personnel refers to a bunch of humans. Therefore, we can not say personal training but personnel training. Similarly, not personnel belongings but personal belongings. Although, the use of personal is done by considering it as an adjective. But it can also be considered as a noun by adding an “s” at the end.

What is Personnel?

Personal refers to a bunch of people that work together for a company or organisation. Personnel is used as a plural noun. When a group of people work for a firm or business, then it is being referred to as personnel. Human Resources Department is often referred to as Personnel Department, as it works with all matters regarding the employees.

For a company, it is very important to have a group of personnel who are committed to the wellbeing, success and profit of the company. The word personnel is used as a noun. In all the big organisations, usually, there is appointed a personnel manager who takes care of all the personnel policies. Personnel is used as a noun. Personnel is always considered as a noun.

Main Differences Between Personal and Personnel

  1. The word personal means owning something privately. Whereas the term personnel refers to human capital or a bunch of people working together in a firm.
  2. When an opinion is being shared, it is being told that it is someone’s personal opinion whereas, the use of personnel comes into use while referring to the working human capital or employees of a firm or organisation.
  3. Personal is singular. Whereas personnel are plural in nature.
  4. Personal refers to a single human. However, personnel refers to a bunch of humans.
  5. The use of personal is done as an adjective, but personnel is used as a noun.
  6. Personal is pronounced as “person-uhl”. Whereas personnel is pronounced as “perso-nell”.
  7. Personal can be used sometimes as an adjective and sometimes as a noun, in the form of personals. However, personnel is always considered as a noun.

Conclusion

The two words, personal and personnel, are being confused more often because they both begin with the word “person”, and coincidentally they both mean and refer to people. However, they differ from each other in terms of pronunciation, meaning, usage, etc. The word personal means owning something privately. In contrast, the term personnel refers to human capital or a bunch of people working together in a firm.

Framing a sentence using these two words would clarify the meaning. “At the end of the speech, the superintendent of police added his personal touch with an encouraging message to ignite his personnel.” Thus, when an opinion is being shared, it is being told that it is someone’s personal opinion. The use of personnel comes into use while referring to the working human capital or employees of a firm or organisation.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00220973.1988.11072066
  2. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA405421

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