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?


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. – Acccumulation Apr 29 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 at 5:30
  • 1
    @A-friend That's exactly right! – Voldemort's Wrath Apr 30 at 15:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.