Flammable vs Inflammable

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What’s the difference between them?

Flammable

Meaning:

capable of being set fire to.

Examples:

1. It's essential to store gasoline away from heat sources because it is highly flammable.

2. The warning label on the chemical container indicated that it was flammable and needed special handling.

3. The firefighters quickly extinguished the flammable materials to prevent the fire from spreading.

Inflammable

Meaning:

capable of bursting into flames without the need for any ignition

Examples:

1. The dry grass in the field was so parched that it became inflammable, posing a significant wildfire risk.

2. The storage area contained several inflammable chemicals that required strict safety protocols.

3. The old wooden barn was in such a state of disrepair that it had become highly inflammable, making it a fire hazard.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Flammable

1. Ignitable

2. Volatile

3. Combustible

4. Easily set alight

5. Highly reactive

1. Fireproof

2. Non-combustible

3. Non-inflammable

4. Incorruptible

5. Unburnable

Inflammable

1. Flammable

2. Combustible

3. Volatile

4. Easily ignited

5. Highly combustible

1. Nonflammable

2. Fireproof

3. Uncombustible

4. Extinguishable

5. Inextinguishable

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Flammable", "Inflammable".

1. 'Flammable' means something is combustible and can be set alight, while 'inflammable' means it is easily ignited and can burst into flames without much effort.

2. When in doubt, use the scientifically accepted term 'flammable'.

3. Mnemonic Phrases: 'Flammables are for Fire,' 'Inflammables Ignite Instantly'

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word 'flammable' be used?

Flammable should be used when referring to items that are at risk of catching fire easily. This could include materials, liquids, or gases that can ignite in the presence of an open flame or heat source.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word 'inflammable'?

Inflammable should be used when referring to items that have a high risk of catching fire easily, even without the need for an open flame or heat source. This could include materials, liquids, or gases that can ignite spontaneously.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. The first word, 'flammable,' is pronounced 'flam-uh-buhl,' while the second word, 'inflammable,' is pronounced 'in-flam-uh-buhl.'

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes is confusing the two words and using them interchangeably. Although they may have similar meanings, they have different pronunciations and should be used in their appropriate contexts. Additionally, people may not be aware of the potential fire hazard of certain items, and may not know when to use either of the words.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. You must store these chemicals in a cool place; they are highly _____.

2. The warning label clearly stated that the material was _____, so we should keep it away from open flames.

3. Gasoline is a _____ liquid; always handle with care.

4. While working in the lab, avoid using _____ substances near the burner.

5. The warehouse stored _____ goods, so it was equipped with advanced fire safety systems.

6. His costume was made of _____ material, which made it risky to wear near the bonfire.

1. inflammable

Explanation: The chemicals are described as highly likely to burst into flames without ignition, hence inflammable is more appropriate here.

2. flammable

Explanation: This sentence provides a general warning about the risk of the material catching fire, so flammable is the more commonly used term in such contexts.

3. flammable

Explanation: Gasoline is well-known as being able to catch fire easily, so the more general term flammable is suitable.

4. inflammable

Explanation: In a lab setting, where the danger might be that certain substances could ignite without a spark, inflammable is more fitting.

5. flammable

Explanation: The warehouse storing goods that can easily catch fire would typically use the term flammable as a more general description.

6. flammable

Explanation: The emphasis is on the materials ability to catch fire when exposed to open flames, making flammable the suitable choice.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.