What does '3a' stand for in the following address:

tulipflower

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What does '3a' stand for in the following address:

3a/ 4th Floor
Fo Tan Road
Hong Kong
 

Rover_KE

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It distinguishes it from one or more other flats named 3b, 3c etc.
 

emsr2d2

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It seems very odd to me that there is no other identifying information between "3a/4th Floor" and the name of the road. I would expect to see something like a building name or at least a building number before the street name.
 

tulipflower

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I saw it in 'skill time' part of Family and Friends book series, book 6.
 

emsr2d2

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What aspect of the English language were they trying to demonstrate? If they were trying to show learners how to address a piece of post, they are doing them a disservice. I would expect to see the address written as:

Flat (or Apartment) 3a
4th Floor
Magnolia Mansions (relevant name of building)
Fo Tan Road
Shanghai (or whichever city it's in)
Hong Kong

If the building doesn't have a name, just a number, then something like "154 Fo Tan Road" would come after "4th Floor".
 

tulipflower

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They were going to teach how to write a letter. The address was written on the right side of the sample letter. I wonder if nowadays they write address in letters, as emails have replaced the traditional letters.
 

emsr2d2

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I'm afraid they have taught a poor lesson then. In a traditional letter, the writer's own address goes in the top right-hand corner, the recipient's name and address goes one line lower but on the left-hand side of the letter, followed by a line break, then the date the letter was written, then a line break, then "Dear Sir/Madam/name of recipient". Bear in mind, I learnt letter layout in the early 1980s so things might have changed and, as you say, when an email is used, the same layout is not used.

Below, I've tried to recreate what a formal letter would have looked like when I studied admin/typing.


Flat 6
125 Smithson Avenue
Bournemouth
BE6 7PQ
Mr A Wilson
26 Heron Drove
Edinburgh
ED1 8LP

23 April 1981

Dear Mr Wilson

[Main part of letter goes here]

Yours sincerely


[Space here for handwritten signature]


D Jones
 

andrewg927

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In the US, we put the apartment unit after the street address. Also we don't usually say the floor number since the unit number often contains that information. Ex. 1111 Fo Tan Road, Unit 3A, Hong Kong, Hong Kong. You could also include State, and Zip code if you have that information (which is not applicable in many countries).
 
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emsr2d2

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It's rare to need the floor number at all in British residential addresses because each unit has its own unique identifier within the building. There would be, for example, only one "Flat 3a" in a building regardless of the number of floors so the flat number would do. I assumed from the first post that using the floor number was normal in Hong Kong addresses.
 
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