Should I say,

Take the elevator to floor number x


Use the elevator to floor number x?

I want to know the same for stairways.

[This phrase is used in an app and to avoid the detection of -st, -nd, -rd and -th, I want to use only 'number x'.]


In US usage,

Use the elevator to floor number x?

would sound very strange. The same applies to similar sentences with stairs (stairways is not a common term in the US speech, except in technical materials).

The phrase take the elevator (or stairs) to X ... is the more common usage.

The phrase use the elevator ... would be found in circumstances not describing a specific location.

Use the elevator during business hours rather than the stairs.

In case of fire, use the stairs.

The verb used could be used to describe progress toward a specific location, but only with another verb, such as

Use the elevator to exit the building.

Use the stairs to access the roof.

Use the elevator to get to floor X


Both would be understood without hesitation, but take sounds more idiomatic, especially when the sentence mentions an explicit destination. I might prefer use the elevator to go down but I would use take in take the elevator to the top floor. (Disclaimer: I am not a native English speaker.)

Take wins the ngram fight for both stairway and elevator.

“Floor number X” is less natural than “the Xth floor”, but it can be clearer to an international audience as it sidesteps the issue of first floor being the street floor or the floor above that. With “floor number X”, it's clear that you should look at the signs. If there are non-numbered floors (e.g. a basement floor), you can use an expression like “the floor marked B”.


You can't say

Use the elevator to floor 14.

You would have to say

Use the elevator to go to floor 14,

because if you "use something to", the verb use needs a verb after to, and not a noun.

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