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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default flight and stairs

    Dear teachers,

    'flight' means ' a set of stairs between one floor and the next'. 'stairs' means 'thought of as a group esp. as forming a flight or a series of flights'. As far as I understand when 'stair' is in plural it means 'flight'.

    Please read the sentence:
    He ran down the four ________ and through the wide doors of the ground floor entrance.
    a. flights b. stairs
    The key is 'a'. My question is: why isn't 'b' correct?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: flight and stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    'flight' means ' a set of stairs between one floor and the next'. 'stairs' means 'thought of as a group esp. as forming a flight or a series of flights'. As far as I understand when 'stair' is in plural it means 'flight'.

    Please read the sentence:
    He ran down the four ________ and through the wide doors of the ground floor entrance.
    a. flights b. stairs
    The key is 'a'. My question is: why isn't 'b' correct?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    It could easily be "stairs" there. BTW, "stairs" in the plural doesn't always mean "flight".

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: flight and stairs

    It seems to me that when a specific number is used we are more likely to use flight(s). Example: "He walked down four flights of stairs." Also, we would say 20 steps rather than 20 stairs.

    ~R

  4. #4
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: flight and stairs


    Dear Mike,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I have two questions to ask:

    No.1
    Could you please tell me if you mean here we should use 'stairs'? Then why did you say "stairs" in the plural doesn't always mean "flight"?
    No.2
    Could you please tell me what this 'BTW' mean?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    It could easily be "stairs" there. BTW, "stairs" in the plural doesn't always mean "flight".

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: flight and stairs

    &
    Dear RonBee,
    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    I feel confused by this part of your explanation:
    Also, we would say 20 steps rather than 20 stairs.
    'step' can also mean to walk on a rode. Could you please tell me how I can know it refers to 'stairs' if somebody use 'step' to mean 'stairs'? I think context should be provided. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    It seems to me that when a specific number is used we are more likely to use flight(s). Example: "He walked down four flights of stairs." Also, we would say 20 steps rather than 20 stairs.

    ~R

  6. #6
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: flight and stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I have two questions to ask:

    No.1
    Could you please tell me if you mean here we should use 'stairs'? Then why did you say "stairs" in the plural doesn't always mean "flight"?
    No.2
    Could you please tell me what this 'BTW' mean?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    A "flight" of stairs is a large number of stairs that takes one up or down an entire building floor (sometimes with a landing in the middle). If there are two or three steps/stairs leading out from a building, it is not a flight, IMO.

    BTW = by the way.
    IMO = in my opinion

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Post Re: flight and stairs

    The word step can be either a noun or a verb. When referring to individual stairs we usually say steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    'step' can also mean to walk on a rode.
    Step can also mean to walk on a road.
    The word step can refer to walking, especially an individual stride, for example: "He stepped off of the sidewalk onto the road."

    ~R

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: flight and stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    'flight' means ' a set of stairs between one floor and the next'. 'stairs' means 'thought of as a group esp. as forming a flight or a series of flights'. As far as I understand when 'stair' is in plural it means 'flight'.

    Please read the sentence:
    He ran down the four ________ and through the wide doors of the ground floor entrance.
    a. flights b. stairs
    The key is 'a'. My question is: why isn't 'b' correct?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Answer (a) would be right, if he started four flights up. I agree with RonBee that steps would be more likely if it was one short flight. [Besides, if 'he' was running, and it had only been four steps, he'd've jumped ]

    b

  9. #9
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: flight and stairs


    Dear Mike,

    Thank heavens the website works again. I guess it broke down early this morning.
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    A "flight" of stairs is a large number of stairs that takes one up or down an entire building floor (sometimes with a landing in the middle). If there are two or three steps/stairs leading out from a building, it is not a flight, IMO.

    BTW = by the way.
    IMO = in my opinion

  10. #10
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: flight and stairs

    Dear Mike,

    Thank heavens the website starts to work again. I guess it broke down early this morning.

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    A "flight" of stairs is a large number of stairs that takes one up or down an entire building floor (sometimes with a landing in the middle). If there are two or three steps/stairs leading out from a building, it is not a flight, IMO.

    BTW = by the way.
    IMO = in my opinion

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