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  1. #1
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    Smile electric/electricity/utility bill

    Stan's electric bill doubles during the summer.



    I presume that electricity bill and utility bill both read equally well in the above sample, but are they identical in meaning? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: electric/electricity/utility bill

    They read equally well. They do not have the same meaning.
    An electricity bill deals only with electricity costs. An electric bill and an electricity bill are identical (we tend to use electricity more in British English).
    A utility bill includes the costs of several utilities such as electricity, gas and water.

  3. #3
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    Smile Re: electric/electricity/utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Niall View Post
    They read equally well. They do not have the same meaning.
    An electricity bill deals only with electricity costs. An electric bill and an electricity bill are identical (we tend to use electricity more in British English).
    A utility bill includes the costs of several utilities such as electricity, gas and water.
    Thanks, Niall, for the clear response.

    As a minor aside, are there water/gas bill(s)? And when to use bill and when bills? Thanks.

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    Default Re: electric/electricity/utility bill

    Yes, there can be a water bill and a gas bill.

    As for when it is plural, it is actaully a lot less easy that I would like. Sometimes, people have their gas and water for example, provided by the same person, and thus get a combined bill. This bill is called the gas and electricity bill or just the utility bill.
    When there are several separate bills, they are collectively known as the utility bills.
    The complication arrives when people talk about their utility bills. A household's utility bills are usually the actaul bills, that is the pieces of paper. When talking in general about the cost of the utilities, we often call this the household's utility bill.

    So in summary:
    The utility bill can be the combined bill for utilities (the piece of paper) or the total amount of money spent on utilities

    The utility bills are all the separate bills for the utilities (the pieces of paper for the gas and for the electricity etc)

  5. #5
    angliholic's Avatar
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    Default Re: electric/electricity/utility bill

    Thanks, Niall, for the transparent and bountiful info.
    By the way, I like the way you point out my writing errors.
    Feel free to correct me. Thanks again.

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