enter image description here

I have a tap that has a male thread and a pipe that has a female thread.

Is it correct to say:

  • "I screwed the tap onto the pipe"


  • "I screwed the tap into the pipe"

In this situation ChatGPT suggests "I screwed the tap into the pipe"

"I screwed the tap into the pipe": This suggests that you inserted the threaded end of the tap into the opening of the pipe and twisted it to secure it in place. It conveys the idea that the tap is now firmly connected and integrated with the pipe. (Chatgpt)

"I screwed the tap onto the pipe": This implies that you attached the tap to the outside surface of the pipe, possibly using screws or other fasteners. It suggests that the tap is fixed to the pipe but not necessarily inserted into it. (ChatGPT)

I think we can use "onto" because the thread of the tap and the pipe are not important.

  • Have you chosen the pictures only because one is an internal (female) and the other is an external (male) thread? Or are those two exactly what you're working with? I ask because the connector on the flexible hose (it is not a "pipe") is normally threaded onto a male thread, and so you are posing the question "backwards". Moreover, the type of thread on the tap is not compatible with the hose thread. Sep 26, 2023 at 0:26
  • The flexible hose's female thread is compatible with the male thread on the outlet of the spigot. Sep 26, 2023 at 0:34
  • @TimR, Just a random picture to express what I mean, not a real picture
    – Tom
    Sep 26, 2023 at 8:59

3 Answers 3


I would say you screwed it onto the pipe.

Screwing 'into' something could imply drilling a hole into something for a screw, or even drilling into it with the screw. Here, the pipe has a threaded end designed for the tap, so I suppose you might say it was screwed 'into' the thread, but onto the pipe.

I should add though that, if this is a permanent fixture and not some elaborate hose system, we normally use the verb to plumb to refer to any kind of plumbing of water systems (eg I plumbed in a tap).

  • I am wondering about a washer of some sort, or what I believe is called 'plumber's tape'. Sep 25, 2023 at 8:37
  • @MichaelHarvey 'Plumbing' historically meant working with lead, but modern plumbing techniques are different of course. 'Plumbed in' means it is professionally fixed in using whatever system is appropriate.
    – Astralbee
    Sep 25, 2023 at 8:51
  • To clarify, I was semi-jocularly alluding to the possibility of leaks. I would never just put a tap on a pipe like that. Agreed that plumbing is pipe stuff, whatever the material. Sep 25, 2023 at 8:56
  • 1
    into, clearly. Not onto.
    – Lambie
    Sep 25, 2023 at 16:08
  • 1
    @Lambie into the thread, perhaps; but onto the pipe.
    – Astralbee
    Sep 26, 2023 at 8:46

"Onto" is fine in normal usage and implies connecting in general, and if you don't know which way round the threads are (i.e. which is outside). In technical documentaion / instructions I would stick to "into" if this is actually correct (e.g. as it is in your graphic).

  • also I'm assuming "pile" is a simple typo. Just checking as you've done it more than once. Sep 25, 2023 at 8:22

Nowadays "male" and "female" threads are being called "external" and "internal" threads, respectively. The designations are changing in catalogs and technical documents.

If both pieces are freestanding, they are screwed together.

If the piece with the male/external thread is stationary, the piece with the female/internal thread is screwed or threaded onto it.

If the piece with the female/internal thread is stationary, the piece with the male/external thread is screwed or threaded into it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .