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Gas is a short form of gasoline and also is a word for gaseous form substance as oxygen for example and also we can make liquid gas as propane for example. The problem is all of these words can designate different kind of fuel. The question is how should I ask what kind of fuel some car is using? I was in Asia and they use two kinds of fuel which are gas and... gas! And I tried to ask my taxi driver something like that "Does your car use gas or gas?" which is a weird question. Can I ask "Does your car use gasoline or gas?" and more important can native American English speaker understand what I mean in this question? Or maybe there is another way to ask this question?

  • One often uses the term "natural gas" as compared to regular fuel ("gas", or "petrol"). See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_natural_gas. I would assume that even Americans understand the term petrol. – painfulenglish Nov 16 '14 at 7:35
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    I'd just ask what the car runs on. – Jim Nov 16 '14 at 7:40
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    @Jim But what if the answer is gas? – painfulenglish Nov 16 '14 at 7:56
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    To a BrE speaker, the 2 main fuel types are Petrol [US Gas] & Diesel. A less-used type is LPG [Liquid Petroleum Gas] which is sometimes used as a dual-fuel system with regular petrol. An LPG tank will often be in the boot [trunk] of the vehicle rather than hidden away underneath & looks like a gas cylinder you'd use for welding or your barbecue. – Tetsujin Nov 16 '14 at 9:47
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    @painfulenglish I don't think anyone would answer gas unless they were talking about gasoline. Other answers I could expect are diesel, LPG, LNG, CNG, propane, natural gas, hydrogen, fuel cells, cooking oil, petrol, electricity, batteries, etc. – Jim Nov 16 '14 at 16:32
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To most effectively ask someone what type of fuel their vehicle uses, I would advise using the sentence, "What type of fuel does your car use/take?" This is by far the most direct and doesn't leave much interpretation to the listener. It doesn't have words with multiple meanings that will lead to confusion, nor gives the listener something to ponder besides what the meaning of fuel is. Granted, there really is one general definition of fuel, which is something that is used to power a car. Hopefully this helps you with your question.

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