According to the nuance between a floor and a story (AmE) what sentence would be correct when you're going to ask someone about the number of floors/stories of a building?

  • How many floors does that building have?
  • How many stories high is that building?

I know that using the words "story" and "floor" are different, but whereas I have read so many pages and a similar page on stackexchange, I found out that the usage of these two words are different; so when I search on google I bump into many webpages containing both constructions above snd this is why I cannot make sure which one would be correct to be said?

1 Answer 1


It depends on the situation...

When you're talking about windows, it might be more acceptable to say:

It's a second-story window!


It's a second-floor window!

, though both, as you can see, still work fine.

When you're talking about location, you generally say "floor" as in,

I live on the fourth floor.

instead of

I live on the fourth story.

In this case, floor is probably the more applicable term.

Please leave a comment if you want me to include more situations!

  • I've seen cases where an owner of a building will give its height in "standard" stories, even if it doesn't have that many floors. For instance, if there are 50 floors, and they're 10% higher than the floors in most buildings, then the building might be claimed to be 55 stories high. This is hardly a universally accepted practice, however. Apr 29, 2019 at 15:45
  • Thank you @invent palooza; so you mean both of my senences are correct, while whereas it's about "building/an object", the "story" construction works better, although the "floor" version can be said in natural English too; right?
    – A-friend
    Apr 30, 2019 at 5:30
  • 1
    @A-friend That's exactly right! Apr 30, 2019 at 15:26

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