[Vocabulary] Petrol vs Petroleum vs Oil

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TitoBr

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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
 
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probus

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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.
 

TitoBr

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Wow! Thank you very much!

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

Rover_KE

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SoothingDave

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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.)
 

Raymott

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