(ordered by seriousness) ESL Vocabulary Lists Parts of Speech Lists A-Z Idioms and Proverbs Grammar Videos
(ordered by category) Tests and Games Top Tip Install a grammar checker
for your browser
Plane or Plain?
What Is the Difference between "Plane" and "Plain"?"Plane" and "plain" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms). However, their meanings are very different.
- "Plane" usually means an airplane, a flat surface, or a tool for shaving wood.
- "Plain" usually means simple or an expanse of lowland.
More about "Plane" and "Plain"The words "plane" and "plain" have several meanings. Unfortunately, both have a meaning relating to flatness, and this is often the source of confusion.
PlainThe word "plain" has three main meanings:
(1) Simple (i.e., not elaborate)
- a plain girl
- a plain cake
- a plain colour
- It is plain to see.
- It seems quite plain to me.
(3) An expanse of level and low land
- The Russian Plain.
- I joined the Chinese farmers as they attempted to drive the yaks across the plain in western China.
PlaneThe word "plane" has six main meanings:
(1) An airplane
- What time is your plane?
(2) A flat surface (especially in mathematics)
- In a 3D space, a plane can be defined by specifying a point and a normal vector to the plane.
(3) A level (usually figurative)
- I was hoping for a conversion on a higher plane.
(5) To shave wood into shape
- Can you plane a few inches off the top of the door?
(6) To travel on the surface of water
- The car hit the puddle and planed straight into the back of the lorry. (This is also known as "to aquaplane.")
Ready for the Test?
Help Us Improve Grammar Monster
- Do you disagree with something on this page?
- Did you spot a typo?
Find Us Quicker!
- When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.