A satnav navigator?

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kuleshov

Senior Member
Spain Spanish
Since satnav is an uncountable noun, how do native English speakers make it countable -if they happen to make it countable-? What would people say when they buy one? I'm looking for satnav?
for a navigator? for a tomtom?

Cheers
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, kuleshov.

    I've heard many people use "GPS device" or "GPS" (GPS = Global Positioning System) when they were talking about navigation devices in cars. "Satellite tracker" is also possible, but I tend to associate that term with devices that companies place in fleet vehicles so that they know exactly where their cars or trucks are. "Satnav" seems pretty easy to understand, but I'd probably call it a "satellite navigation device" if I mentioned it to somebody who might not be familiar with that kind of device.

    Once you are sure that your listener knows what you are talking about, you can freely use something shorter: the navigator, the satnav, etc.
     
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    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Satnav is the standard BrE term for the gadget that sits on your dashboard barking orders at you. One satnav, a satnav, two satnavs ...
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The OP said that it is uncountable.
    Indeed, and I'm afraid the OP was wrong, certainly for BE. "Satellite navigation" is uncountable, but that's only one of the meanings of the noun "satnav", as ewie pointed out.
    I used satnav to find my way - I used a system of satellites and an associated receiving and computing device to find my way.
    I used a satnav to find my way - I used a box with Tom Tom (or Garmin, or Mio or ...) written on it to find my way - I don't care how it works.
     

    jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    As you probably have realized, in the US you say "GPS" and that is countable. My wife and I have two GPSes, one for each car.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    As you probably have realized, in the US you say "GPS" and that is countable. My wife and I have two GPSes, one for each car.
    We have exactly the same usage in BE, and the same countable non-countable usages as for satnav.
    I used satnav GPS to find my way - I used a system of satellites and an associated receiving and computing device to find my way.
    I used a satnav GPS to find my way - I used a box with Tom Tom (or Garmin, or Mio or ...) written on it to find my way - I don't care how it works.
     

    kuleshov

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    Thank you very much.

    I'm looking for a satnav - in the UK / I'm looking for a GPS - in the USA. In both cases meaning the gadget itself.

    Maybe: I'm looking for a navigator (for my car) in both the UK and the US.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm looking for a satnav - in the UK / I'm looking for a GPS - in the USA. In both cases meaning the gadget itself.
    As I said before, both terms are used in BE. If you go into your local car accessory shop in the UK and ask for a GPS you will be pointed to the in-car satellite navigation systems without the least indication of surprise from the shop assistant.
    Maybe: I'm looking for a navigator (for my car) in both the UK and the US.
    Well, then, you had better get married. :D
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There used to be navigators in rally cars - I'm not sure if the term is still used.
     
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