equipment or equipments?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Sylph, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Sylph Senior Member

    Chinese, China
    I checked the uses of the word in the dictionary and found that "equipment" is an uncountable noun, but I often see "equipments" in my sparetime reading. Who can tell me whether "equipments" is correct or not? Thanks a lot.
  2. Carrie2 Senior Member

    English, UK
    Hi, Sylph. No, "equipments" is wrong. Your dictionary is correct, "equipment" is an uncountable noun. Perhaps the things you have read with the word "equipments" were written by non-native speakers of English? Or perhaps you've seen "equipment's"?

    Hope this helps.
  3. Sylph Senior Member

    Chinese, China
    thanks, carrie. i see.
  4. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Equipment, like furniture, is uncountable.

    You have to say something like: "pieces of equipment" or "items of equipment" or "pieces of furniture" or "items of furnture" to make plurals.
  5. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    "Equipments" is used in the military referring to different categories of equipment.
  6. Claude M New Member

    Saint-Denis (93), France
    UK-born French resident, English mother tongue
    A quick search on Google by typing "equipments" with an S comes up with many instances of the plural, mainly in company names and descriptions ("manufacturer of equipments"). Oddly enough, the first few I looked at were all Indian.
    Of course, the general rule about "equipment" being uncountable is correct, but I have a feeling that it is not always respected in technical documents, as "pieces of equipment" is not very natural.
    It could also be that "equipments" is mainly used in the sense of "types of equipment" - rather like "cheeses" or "wines".
    Of course, most cases of "equipments" in print are mistakes by non-native speakers. But then they are the majority !
    Any other ideas on this subject, which is one that my students bring up all the time ?
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  8. yannicus Member

    france - french/english
    Equipments is used in the automotive industry a great deal to talk about optional elements for a car offer (like electric windows, or Pro-level: refrigerated compartments, dump truck beds, hatchbacks, etc). Also used in the military, as explained earlier.

    It is incorrect, but is slipping into common usage, and will be an accepted term soon, I think.

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