Youth /the youth/ youths/ the youths

cattiedoggie

New Member
Chinese
The word Youth always confuses me.
To me all of the following seem correct:
Youth in Japan are very helpful.
The youth in Japan are very helpful.
Youths in Japan are very helpful.
The youths in Japan are very helpful.
What are the differences?
Please help
 
Last edited:
  • Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    The youth of Japan are very helpful.
    The others are either incorrect or awkward.
    Young Japanese people are very helpful is possible too. I have also heard educated native speakers say Japanese young people.
    A youth is a young male, more often than not used in a negative, even criminal, context.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The youth of Japan are very helpful.
    The others are either incorrect or awkward.
    Young Japanese people are very helpful is possible too. I have also heard educated native speakers say Japanese young people.
    A youth is a young male, more often than not used in a negative, even criminal, context.

    An AE note: youth is a neutral word in American English. As a collective noun it is gender neutral, but as a countable noun most often refers to young males.
     

    cattiedoggie

    New Member
    Chinese
    Thank you all for your feedback.
    So I think I should can write the following:

    The youth of Japan are very helpful. It is however difficult to arouse youth's interest in doing voluntary work.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's probably personal, but I would prefer to avoid "youth" in this context.
    The young people of Japan are very helpful. It is, however, difficult to arouse their interest...
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I saw this poster in our camps as the banners for recruiting new members for AIESEC:

    1) AIESEC provides a global platform for youths to develop their potentials.

    2) We give youths a chance to see the world.

    I was wondering whether the use of "youths" is idiomatic.
     

    variegatedfoliage

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I saw this poster in our camps as the banners for recruiting new members for AIESEC:

    1) AIESEC provides a global platform for youths to develop their potentials.

    2) We give youths a chance to see the world.

    I was wondering whether the use of "youths" is idiomatic.

    It's awkward. Young people/person is preferable. Youth (not youths) means young people in general.

    Youth
    is most commonly used to mean the time of life when one is young: "Make the most of your youth."
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It's awkward. Young people/person is preferable. Youth (not youths) means young people in general.

    Youth
    is most commonly used to mean the time of life when one is young: "Make the most of your youth."

    I am a bit confused when I saw it, since AIESEC is a well-known organization. It shouldn't make such a mistake.
     

    variegatedfoliage

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I am a bit confused when I saw it, since AIESEC is a well-known organization. It shouldn't make such a mistake.

    Without a link I can't know for sure what you are quoting, but I think you are introducing typos when you are copying: "AIESEC provides a global platform for youth (not youths :cross:) to develop their potential (not potentials :cross:)."

    As Arrius wrote, a youth is a young male, more often than not used in a negative, even criminal, context. Youths in the plural refers to multiple young males; youth as a plural mean young people in general.

    It is not a mistake to use youth in this way, but it is formal. It is appropriate in mission statements like AIESEC's, but it should be used sparingly.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Without a link I can't know for sure what you are quoting, but I think you are introducing typos when you are copying: "AIESEC provides a global platform for youth (not youths :cross:) to develop their potential (not potentials :cross:)."

    As Arrius wrote, a youth is a young male, more often than not used in a negative, even criminal, context. Youths in the plural refers to multiple young males; youth as a plural mean young people in general.

    It is not a mistake to use youth in this way, but it is formal. It is appropriate in mission statements like AIESEC's, but it should be used sparingly.

    I see, They are not typos. I found it in the poster in our campus and I took photos then copy it in the thread.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I agree with variegated's first take on this; they should have used "young people". "Youth" doesn't work like that (see post #11 - but I think it is a mistake.).
     
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