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  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 123

    gas (fuel) gas (matter)

    I wonder how an American would distinguish between the two meanings of gas.
    "My car consumes gas".
    Here gas can mean the air-like matter and also petrol.
    Is there any other word or it all depends on the context?


  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,465

    Re: gas (fuel) gas (matter)

    Context tells us. If I say "I need to buy gas before we go on our trip" it is understood I mean gasoline for my car.

    We also use "gas" for "natural gas" (methane), piped into our homes for heating and cooking. if I ask someone if their oven is electric or gas, they know I mean natural gas and not gasoline.

    They do use natural gas for some motor vehicles now, but this is an exception. If your car ran on natural gas, you would need to specify to people that it ran on "natural gas." If you told people you had a car that ran on gas, they would not find this remarkable.

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