Floors of a house in the USA

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When I travel in Europe I have to be conscious of the difference between American English and British English when talking about the floors in a house. You can easily find yourself on the wrong floor if you make this mistake. Since I live in the USA, I'll talk about how we count floors here:

1. When you first enter a house, American English calls this ground level the first floor.
2. The level above is the second floor.
3. If there are more floors above, the numbers continue (third floor, fourth floor, etc).

Counting floors is the same for apartment buildings, commercial buildings, hotels, and condominiums. The floors are numbered starting from the ground (first floor) level. The level below the first floor is the basement.

A floor can also be called a story and the image above is a two-story house without a basement.

Have you ever gone to the wrong floor?

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