Airplane or Aeroplane?

What Is the Difference between "Airplane" and "Aeroplane"?

The Quick Answer

Airplane or Aeroplane?

"Airplane" and "aeroplane" are interchangeable in the UK but not in the United States. More specifically, the British will accept "airplane" and "aeroplane," but Americans find "aeroplane" too archaic. In summary:
  • "Airplane" is the word preferred in the US.
  • "Aeroplane" is the non-American spelling.
airplane or aeroplane?

Example Sentences with "Airplane" and "Aeroplane"

Below is an example of "aeroplane" in a British publication.
  • An international force of ships, aeroplanes, drones and satellites is scouring the southern Indian Ocean to find the wreckage of MH370. correct tick (small British flag)
  • (This is from the British newspaper The Times.)
Below are some examples of "airplane" in American publications.
  • Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo. correct tick (small American flag)
  • (This is a quotation from American politician Al Gore.)
  • Students designed, built, and modified paper airplanes based on the physics of flight. correct tick (small American flag)
  • (This is from The New York Times.)

Most Brits Will Accept "Airplane"

"Airplane" is becoming increasingly common in British English and is now accepted by most people who follow British English writing conventions. However, few Americans would accept "aeroplane."

Airport Not Aeroport

The word "aeroport" is not British English. It's French. The British English word is "airport" (like the American).

Take the Airplane/Aeroplane Poll

The Differences between British English and American English

Watch a video showing 10 big differences between British English (BrE) and American English (AmE). video lesson

Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer video to text? Here is a list of all our grammar videos.

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This page was written by Craig Shrives.