1. ## 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'.

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.

Jiang

2. ## Re: flight and stairs

Originally Posted by jiang
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'.

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.

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

3. ## 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. ## 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.

Jiang

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

5. ## 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.

Jiang
Originally Posted by RonBee
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. ## Re: flight and stairs

Originally Posted by jiang

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.

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. ## Re: flight and stairs

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

Originally Posted by jiang
'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. ## Re: flight and stairs

Originally Posted by jiang
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'.

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.

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. ## 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
Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
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. ## 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
Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
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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