Is it correct to use the word ‘number’ meaning "hotel room'?
Thanks in advance.
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In an appropriate (though sometimes necessarily extremely contrived) context, most nouns can replace most other nouns. There are a number of natural contexts in which number can replace hotel room without causing any confusion, and some speakers will actually do this:
As far as I know, the president will be staying in number 1. - No, he won't. Since number 1 is hard to secure,he has been assigned to three contiguous numbers on the fifth floor.
Have you cleaned number 5 yet? - No, since the guest was still present. But two guests on the second floor left early, so I got their numbers done earlier.
Is this your room key? - No, it's actually for a different number.
But in most contexts this doesn't work at all:
Hello, we would like a number for two until Sunday.
I have booked a number at the Hilton for you, Sir.
You book a room, you don't book a number.
It's therefore more common to ask “Can I have the key to room 30, please?” especially in a large hotel than “Can I have the key to number 30, please?” The first is idiomatic, the second is only grammatical.
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