In the movie The Devil's Advocate, a character says this when telling another person she has to go catch a plane.

Mary Ann: Look, I gotta make a plane.

Do people commonly say make a plane when referring to catch a plane? It doesn't appear to be a thing according to Google

  • 2
    Did you mistake it for "I gotta make the plane"? – CinCout Dec 20 '18 at 13:23
  • @CinCout No. The actual words are very easily corroborated by searching the movie title + "subtitles". Since there might be copyright issues involved, I won't put up a link to an actual subtitle site. Also part of the reason for this question is "to make it" is very idiomatic while I have not heard "make a plane" except in the context of constructing a plane, paper or otherwise. – Eddie Kal Dec 20 '18 at 13:44
  • Subtitles are not a good indicator since they are often produced by non-native speakers. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 20 '18 at 14:13
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo It seems to me a lot of subtitles on third-party sites are stripped from DVDs/Blu-rays/official channels, and increasingly so. I don't know how subtitle groups get their hands on official subtitles, but they do. I know this wasn't the case in the past. Also the subtitles I consulted before posting were from official copyrighted materials. – Eddie Kal Dec 20 '18 at 19:22

It's not entirely ungrammatical to say I gotta make a plane meaning "to arrive in time for boarding" but since you ask whether people say it, the answer would be no, not in great numbers. If you put everyone who says it on a plane, there would be empty seats.

I assume such questions are asked not out of academic curiosity but with the desire to know whether the phrase would sound perfectly natural to a native speaker.

The usual phrase is:

I've got a plane to catch.

Change "plane" to "flight" and things are different. Then "make" sounds natural.

Can't stay, sorry. I've got to make a flight.

P.S. Subtle things like the determiner can have a significant effect as well. I would consider these idiomatic:

If you don't hurry up, you won't make your train.

If you don't hurry up, you won't make your plane.

But "make your flight" would be far more likely.


Dictionary.com lists nearly forty alternative definitions for the word "make". Here is one of them:

  1. to arrive in time to be a passenger on (a plane, boat, bus, train, etc.):
    If you hurry, you can make the next flight.
  • But the question has "make a plane" not "make the (next) flight". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 20 '18 at 14:09
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo , the definition mentions a list of choices: "a plane, boat, bus, train" – Sam Dec 20 '18 at 14:13
  • The definition is misleading in doing so. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 20 '18 at 14:14

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