1) Let's imagine there is a group of producers who are dealing with manufacturing various products, and able to produce lots of high copy e.g clothing (a false copy of an original product with an acceptable quality and lesser price. Shoes, jeans, perfumes, sunglasses and etc.) A person who is going to achieve some information about that group, asks a worker who works for one of that group's factories. Which one of the following sentences sounds natural in this sense:

  • They can counterfeit everything. (here any type of clothing)
  • They can forge everything.

2) My second question is that if there is a fixed verb for e.g. manufacturing copy (not original) of computer devices such as Flash memory etc.

  • For the first question, can you show that you have used a dictionary. For the second, is the copy intended to deceive by copying the trade marks of the original?
    – James K
    Aug 21, 2016 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


The terms do tend to be used inter-changeably. If there is a difference then it's as follows:

Forgery is the term for creating a single, specific item such as a person's passport or a Monet painting.

Counterfeiting applies when producing multiple copies of something, for example bank notes or postage stamps.


Both words are roughly interchangeable, and may generally be considered synonyms. You can usually exchange one for the other in most contexts, although some uses might sound odd to native speakers without adding/changing a word.


These bills are a forgery.

These bills are counterfeit.

This person is great at forging money.

This person is great at counterfeiting money.

These people are great at counterfeiting (some copied product).

These people are great at forging (some copied product).

As you can see, the words are roughly interchangeable, and if you get it wrong, it'll usually be close enough that a native speaker will realize you made a mistake, but will also be able to mentally correct it.

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