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Portuguese speakers often get confused when they have to use the words "travel" and "trip". We've been taught that travel is always a verb and its corresponding noun is trip. However, a simple internet search shows that travel can sometimes be used as a noun. According to the Macmillan dictionary:

Travel (noun)

1- the activity of travelling

  • Foreign travel never really appealed to him until he retired.
  • Our agency deals mostly with business travel.

2 [ only before noun] involving travel

  • travel arrangements/insurance/expenses

This is how the same dictionary defines the noun trip:

" an occasion when you go somewhere and come back again".

Therefore, travel, used as a noun, is not a synonym for trip. It refers to the activity while trip has a much wider meaning. Consider the following:

-Space travel -travel agent -travel agency -time travel

Am I right?

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I think your final analysis is correct = not synonyms of each other.

Travel is a uncountable noun used to describe travelling in general or the activity of travelling.

Ex Travel is cheaper these days.

Ex. I enjoy music, sport and travel.

Travel also functions as a verb.

Ex. I travel to London every day. = present simple

Ex. I am travelling at the moment.= present participle.

Ex I travelled to Vancouver last week= past participle.

  1. The word Trip refers to the actual journey and the visit together.

Ex. I had a great trip = My journey there and back together with my visit were great.

The word travel can also function as an adjective.

Ex travel agent, travel insurance, travel sickness etc.

In each of the above travel modifies or adds information to the noun it precedes.

Please Note: Although travel is an uncountable noun we can still use it as a plural noun on some occasions.

Ex. He has just been on his travels. = He has been to several places.

I hope that helps.

Sources Practical English Usage by Michael Swan. Collins dictionary and the University of Life

  • Ex. does not mean example, the correct abbreviation is e.g – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 '17 at 17:52
  • Thank you for your comment. which I appreciate. I have found that students often get confused with the use of e.g., and so I use Ex. because it is obviously the first two letters of example. At higher levels I use e.g. I sincerely hope the abbreviation police will not be turning up. – user242899 Jul 17 '17 at 18:55
  • But on a website dedicated to the English language, and where we do have our modest share of pedants, and experts, who care about correct language, propagating the use of "ex." is, in my opinion, unwise. – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 '17 at 18:58

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