When talking, for example, about an apartment building, you ca say "The building has eight floors". But when talking about a house that got two "floors", do you still call them floors in English? Or is there a different word for "floors" in a regular house?


Note that there is a difference between UK and US usage with respect to numbering floors. A two-storey building in the UK is said to have a ground floor and a first floor. In the US the same building would be described as having a first floor and a second floor.

In Britain, when we are talking about a two-storey house (home), we normally speak about 'upstairs' and 'downstairs'. In a two-storey commercial building we might (in Britain) talk about the ground floor and the first floor.

Note also that 'storey' in the UK is spelled 'story' in the USA.

Storey vs. story - grammarist.com


The words floor, story, and level are used more or less interchangeably to refer to the separate "layers" in any building.


US: I live in a two-story house. The upstairs can get quite hot in summer.

I live in a student co-op that has three floors. The room that's currently available is up on the third floor. My room is on the ground floor.


Floor is a legitimate English word to be used with reference to a house. However, stories (a synonym of floors) is more popular in terms of usage, at least in American fiction.

  • Note that in the UK we say, 'storey' and 'storeys' in this context. – chasly - supports Monica Sep 3 '15 at 11:13
  • I can't say I have noticed any significant difference in usage between "floor" and "story" to describe the levels of a building. There /may/ be a slight preference for floor in taller and/or buildings that are not single-family homes, but I am in no way sure enough about this call it more than a vague impression on my part. – Cary C Sep 3 '15 at 12:18

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