Manufactures vs. Manufacturers

Manufactures vs. Manufacturers

A question from the Peanut Gallery always makes my day.  John asks:

“I have a question for you. In many documents like inspection requirements and vendor data requirements, I often see the word: Manufactures, as in Manufactures Data Book requirements. I always thought it should be Manufacturers. Are both correct, or do they have different meanings?”

Your thoughts are correct, John. They do have different meanings.

“Manufactures” is a verb (present tense).

Example: Cameron manufactures blowout preventers.

“Manufacturers” is a noun (plural).

Cameron and National Oilwell Varco are manufacturers of blowout preventers.

They are often pronounced the same, especially with a Texas drawl.

In the example you gave, if somebody “manufactures” data book requirements, the boss needs to have a serious talk with that person.

If you are referencing the data book requirements provided by a single manufacturer, it should be the singular possessive: manufacturer’s data book.

If you are referencing the data book requirements provided by multiple manufacturers, it should be the plural possessive: manufacturers’ data books.


3 Responses to “Manufactures vs. Manufacturers”

  1. pla Says:

    That isn’t true. The US Census, in its economic surveys, uses “manufactures” as the plural for manufacturers. That’s why the book mentioned above is spelled that way. It has a meaning. I’m actually trying to find out the difference, as well.

  2. R Faith Says:

    Manufactures, as taught to me in a history degree, is the collective noun for “things that are made”. The sum of a nation’s manufacturing output, for example.

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