Which word should i use, whether aeroplane or airplane? what is the meaning of these words else what is the difference between two if there?

P.S: please correct if my question is wrong or inappropriate to this site.

  • 1
    Airplane is AmE. Aeroplane is BrE. This is a basic question and likely to be closed. Check out oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/aeroplane – Maulik V Nov 14 '14 at 10:52
  • If we assume that learners do not know what the designations in dictionaries are that refer to different varieties of English, I don't think it's an off-topic question. – user6951 Nov 14 '14 at 16:26
  • @CarSmack I did not do any effort. Oxford Dictionary is well known and searching for that word defines it clearly. – Maulik V Nov 15 '14 at 5:27
  • Hi @Maulik V! Yes, the dictionary you used is very clear in that it spells out American English and British English. What I mean is that some dictionaries use abbreviations for those terms, and the OP might not have known what they meant. In addition, I don't think that for all learners it is obvious that the meaning is exactly the same when a dictionary uses those terms to refer only to spelling differences. I'm just trying to give the benefit of the doubt to a user, you know, cut him some slack. – user6951 Nov 15 '14 at 6:09

The ngram answers your question nicely:

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Aeroplane is an old form on the decline. It's not wrong but it's becoming obsolete fast. You'd likely use it to WWI era aeroplanes but you wouldn't call a jet fighter an aeroplane - currently it's almost exclusively an airplane.

  • 4
    The use of aeroplane is declining in British English, but it is still the preferred form (books.google.com/ngrams/…). I suspect that plane is now the most common form in most varieties of English – tunny Nov 14 '14 at 11:03
  • @tunny In what varieties of English do you think plane is the most common form? – user6951 Nov 14 '14 at 16:28
  • @CarSmack: Like most Brits (most Anglophones), if I use air travel to get somewhere I invariably [travel] by plane to [wherever I'm going]. – FumbleFingers Nov 14 '14 at 18:04
  • I don't know. I would guess it's more common in Australia, Canada, Ireland New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Incidentally, I have just looked at BNC citations: aeroplane(s) - 741, airplane(s) - 105, aircraft - 6,072! I couldn't look for plane because of the other meanings of that word. – tunny Nov 14 '14 at 18:24
  • ngrams don't answer anything on their own. In this case, "airplane" is more common because it's the preferred term in the USA, whereas "aeroplane" is the preferred term in the UK. You'll notice that the USA has about five times the population of the UK and that "airplane" is about five times as common as "aeroplane". – David Richerby Nov 30 '14 at 18:34

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