My freelancer wrote these two sentences. I know they are correct because I saw other natives use "travel" like he does. According to the dictionary, in the first sentence, "travel" means the activity of traveling. My question is why the activity of traveling is a mode of transportation. I don't understand the use of "travel" in the first sentence.

Car travel was the most frequently used mode of transportation in both years.

Does "travel" in the second sentence have a different meaning? Does it mean the distance that an object moves?

Car travel had increased to 4,806 miles by 2000.

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1 Answer 1


'Car travel' literally means 'travel by car'. We would use it to specify travel by car as opposed to any other form of transport. 'Travel' as a noun can denote movement in general, but usually significant journeys. As a verb, it means to move, usually from one marked place to another.

In the example you cite, the metric is 'miles travelled', but evidently this is only miles travelled by car. 'Miles' is not something you could attribute to cars - a car doesn't have miles, it travels miles.

  • Yes - car travel, train travel, air travel, and for a few, space travel. Commented May 3, 2023 at 9:03
  • Thank you very much for your response. But does "travel" have different meanings in the two sentences? In Sentence 1, "car travel" is a form of transport while in Sentence 2, car travel means the distance that cars travel? Commented May 3, 2023 at 9:11
  • @newbieforever No, in this context 'car travel' is a noun. It refers to the movement, which can be measured in miles. Think of 'car' as an adjective describing the travel.
    – Astralbee
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 9:16
  • @Astralbee, thank you so much. I finally understand. Commented May 3, 2023 at 9:18
  • So are both examples cited in the original post correct? Commented Jun 4 at 9:52

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