Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Grammar

Why a Cement Truck Really Isn’t a Cement Truck

Here’s one of those nifty nuggets that most people don’t know, but once they do, they’ll see the error constantly.

Yeah, you’re welcome.

You’ve seen those giant “cement trucks” with the rolling barrels driving down the highway headed toward construction sites. Or have you?

What you’ve actually seen is a concrete truck. They’re really known as “concrete mixers.”

So what’s the difference?

You wouldn’t look at a lovely, fresh-baked apple pie and call it an apple, would you?

When you refer to concrete as cement, that’s pretty much what you’re doing. Cement is an ingredient of concrete.

Concrete is the mixture of cement, sand and rock that hardens into the permanent structure.

So next time you see one of those big trucks, you’ll know that it’s a concrete mixer, not a “cement truck,” unless, of course, the truck is only hauling bags of the specific ingredient rather than the mixture into which it is added.

12 Comments

  1. I often see the cement trucks on the road and want to know more about them. I am happy to be informed that these are actually called concrete mixers. I did not know that cement was an ingredient to concrete. I will keep this in mind for the day we hire a professional for certain projects.

  2. Not to point out the obvious, but “concrete is the mixture of cement, sand and rock that hardens..” is an false statement. Concrete has 3 primary components, cement, aggregate and water. Without water you just have a pile of dust and stone.

  3. My dad, who was among other things a builder, called them cement mixers. And also made the differentiation between concrete and cement very clear to us kids. So…yeah.
    Also, just how are you pronouncing “cement”?

      1. patricksplace psalm23 So, this post has made me spend way too much time thinking about concrete and cement. As I mixed a wheelbarrow full of cement one time on a college break, my dad told me that what I was mixing was cement (suhMENT). Then he dropped in two gallon buckets of gravel, thus turning it into concrete, and making it substantially harder to mix with the hoe. He threw up his hands in mock disgust, took the hoe from me, and said I needed to do more exercise: “When I was your age I had a washboard stomach from doing this! What’s wrong with you; are you weak?” He was, at the time, about 65, and no longer had washboard abs, but he definitely had more strength than I did…at a third of his age. 
        I never, before or since, worked as hard as I did trying to keep up with my dad that day. Thanks for the fun memory!

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Patrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.