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  1. #1
    TitoBr is offline Junior Member
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    Default Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

    Hello!

    I've taken a look at the definitions of petro, petroleum and oil in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and it seems that the differences lie in what each coutry prefer to use.

    Are there any differences in use?

    Cheers,
    Tito
    Last edited by TitoBr; 21-Feb-2013 at 21:47.

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

    Petroleum means crude oil, on both sides of the Atlantic. Petrol, a product manufactured from petroleum, is fuel for cars. It is called gasoline in North America.

    Oil is a much broader word. Sometimes it is a synonym for petroleum. There are vegetable oils, such as olive oil, used in cooking or as ingredients in foods, or made into soap and other products. Mineral oils are various substances made from petroleum. I see that your Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary gives diesel oil as an example in BrE. That would be called diesel fuel in America. And of course, various lubricating oils are made from petroleum.

  3. #3
    TitoBr is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

    Wow! Thank you very much!

    And in North America you may also say gas as a shortened version for gasoline, right?

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

    Right.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

    Quote Originally Posted by TitoBr View Post
    Wow! Thank you very much!

    And in North America you may also say gas as a shortened version for gasoline, right?
    Yes, I would say it is more common than saying the full "gasoline." Where there would be ambiguity, we would say "natural gas" for the fuel we use for home heating, as opposed to the "gas" we put in our cars.

    (There are some vehicles that do run on natural gas now, further complicating the issue.)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    There are vegetable oils, such as olive oil, used in cooking or as ingredients in foods, or made into soap and other products. Mineral oils are various substances made from petroleum.
    There are also animal oils, like lanolin from sheep and blubber from whales and cod liver oil.
    Animal fat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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