At my school (in the Physics lab), there's a built in cabinet to store things like lenses, sheets of paper, screw gauge, vernier callipers, stopwatch etc. A teacher was looking for something. That cabinet has many doors; compartments (kind of like small, separate cabinets). The other teacher opens the wrong door and my teacher says:

No it's in the lower cabinet.

Will it be called a "cabinet"? Or is it just a "compartment" and is the use of "lower" natural?


3 Answers 3


I would phrase this a number of different ways:

Drawer - part of a desk, chest, or other piece of furniture that is shaped like a box and is designed for putting things in

Section - one of the parts into which it is divided or from which it is formed.

Compartment - one of the separate parts of an object that is used for keeping things in

Part - A part of something is one of the pieces, sections, or elements that it consists of

You could even just say "it's in the lower one" - this works as it just implies whatever the part is called.

And yes - using lower sounds natural - however, if you say "it's in the lower ______", that implies there is only one lower drawer/section etc. Otherwise, it's best to say "it's in a lower ______*", denoting it could be any of the ones below, but then you'd also have to specify which.


I think that it depends on context.

It's in the lower (of the two) cabinet

If there are two cabinets, one above a work surface and one below, then this would refer to the one that is lower than the other (bottom one)

It's in the lower (part of the singular) cabinet

Consider lower left leg - you don't have two left legs, one on top of each other, so it's obvious that you mean the lower part of that object if there's only one.


Generally, a cabinet will refer to a single integrated piece of furniture, often with multiple drawers or compartments. As an example, for kitchens, we have upper and lower cabinets where the uppers are the ones above the counter and lowers are the cabinets under the counter. However, it would not be uncommon to refer individual halves of something that uses swinging doors instead of drawers as separate cabinets. So your teacher's use of lower cabinet would be fine.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .