In electrical parlance, certain terms relating to grounding are commonly confused.

The neutral (the white or gray wire in North America, the blue wire in Europe, the black wire in India and Australia, and the light blue wire in China) is grounded at the panelboard, so it is referred to as a grounded conductor.

None of the phase conductors are grounded, so they are referred to as ungrounded conductors. The grounding conductor is usually the green or green/yellow striped wire, or it can be a bare copper wire in the United States and Canada.

Grounding is a continual process — the system is constantly kept at zero potential — so the green wire is called the grounding wire as opposed to the neutral, which is the grounded conductor.

Bonding is the physical connection between metallic conducting materials in the system such as metal enclosures, conduit, and water pipes.

The components of a power distribution system are bonded to ensure that they remain at ground potential and to provide a low-impedance path to ground.

The grounded wire (neutral) is connected to the grounding wire (green or green/yellow striped wire) using a main bonding jumper in the service-disconnect enclosure.

Of course, the term ground is an American term meaning earth. In other countries, the term earth is used in favor of ground.

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