When to use 両者 instead of 二人?

I’m on level 8 and I just reached the word 両者 meaning “both people.” I’m wondering when it would be appropriate to use 両者, because I was under the impression that 二人 is most commonly used to talk about two people. Are there certain instances where it would be better to use 両者 instead of 二人? I already read the context sentences but I’m still confused. Thanks!


Both, both people, pair (people), couple (people). There are alot of ways of saying the same thing, depends on the context. Context I wouldn’t worry about, it makes sense during immersion.


両者 is when the context is that there are exactly two people, or two parties, and it means “both of them”. 二人 just means “two people”. So if there’s a group of three people, and two go into a shop while one waits outside, you can say 二人は店に入った but 両者 wouldn’t make sense. Conversely, if there are, say, two people having an argument and they’re both being stubborn about it, using 両者 is more natural because it expresses that “both of them” sense.

両者 also can be used in a slightly wider sense than just people: it can mean “both parties”, “both sides [of a disagreement]”.

This all falls fairly naturally out of the kanji meanings: 両 as the first kanji in a word is often “there are exactly two things and we are talking about both equally” – 両腕、両眼、両親…


This makes sense to me. Thank you for explaining :slight_smile:

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