Choose the right word for each sentence:
XYZ Co. is letting go of personal/personnel at an alarming rate.
My personal/personnel files include notes on how to take over the world using just a red paperclip.
Match.com and other dating sites have eliminated the need to advertise in the personals/personnels.
The HR department kept James’ personal/personnel file updated with all the complaints about his work habits.
Personal and personnel can be confused if the writer is not diligent, especially as both can be used as a noun and an adjective. Let’s go through the quiz to uncover all four usages.
The first example could say that XYZ Co. is laying off employees or staff; the correct choice here is personnel, a plural noun. You wouldn’t have one personnel; you’d have many.
The second sentence calls for personal.