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Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English

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personal vs personnel

Personal is an adjective.

It can mean relating to or belonging to someone.

For example: Your personal belongings are the things that belong to you.

It can relate to the private parts of someone's life, including their relationships and feelings.

For example: If you have personal problems, it means you have problems that are private and sensitive to you. Perhaps problems in a relationship.

It can also mean something that is designed for or used by one person.

For example: a personal computer or stereo.

And it can relate to your body

For example: when talk about personal hygiene.

!If you are rude about or offensive towards someone it could be said that you are being personal.

Personnel is a noun.

The people who work for an organisation are the personnel.

For example: military personnel are the members of an army.

The department of an organisation that deals with finding people to work there, keeping records about them, etc is the Personnel Department. The head of that department is the personnel manager.

For example: "I need to speak to someone in Personnel."

!Many businesses have changed the name of their Personnel Department to 'The Human Resources Department' (HRD for short).




Confusing Words