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This is the exact picture of my building. (2) & (3) are raised flat surfaces. (3) is higher than (2) and (2) is higher than (1).

To go to the pool or building, I have to walk across (1), then walk on (2), then walk on (3). From (3), I can walk to the pool or into the building.

Are (2) and (3) called "patio", "platform" or "level" in general?

Is (1) called "driveway"?

For example, "You are standing on the driveway, get on the patio".

  • 2
    In Australian English, it's a patio, but I'm sure there are other words in other countries.
    – Sydney
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 11:08
  • Looking at the photo you would never in a million years call that (2) a "patio". Not even close. It would be like referring to a cheeseburger as sushi.
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 16:10
  • This might be different depending on where you live. In what country was this picture taken in?
    – Joe Kerr
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 20:14
  • @JoeKerr, it is in Vietnam
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 22:59
  • You walk across the street, cross the sidewalk and go up the steps and turn left under the arch.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 10 at 20:03

4 Answers 4


In the USA the area you are showing is called a "patio" if it's in the back or side of the home. If it's in front it would likely be called a "porch".

Your photo appears to show it made of brick but if the raise area was constructed of wood or something that looked like wood you might also call it a "deck".

The lower area you are showing would be called "ground level" or if it's a part of something else "the driveway" or "the walk".

  • Australian here - yep, it's a patio out the back, but in front we use verandah (though porch is recognised). They're subtly different constructions - southern US porches (Louisiana, Alabama) are closer to Au verandahs
    – mcalex
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 18:57
  • It could be in front of a house or in a public place or just simply a raised flat surface. In that case, can we just say "get on the platform" in general?
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 2:44
  • @Tom “Patio” (or “deck”) is reasonably used with a public building; “porch” is pretty exclusive to residences.
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 4:47
  • I updated question, could you check it?
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 6:43
  • Another Aussie here, porch often with a qualifier - as in: "Where's Davo?" "Out the back porch with Johno" Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 6:45

Edited answer after OP posted a photo of their own building; original answer follows:

Looking at the picture you posted of your building, as a Brit I'd think of area (3) as almost being 3 separate areas - the part in front of your building would just be "steps", the part which is under cover is a "porch" and the part by the pool a "patio". The part you labeled (2) would be the "pavement". Note that this differs from American English where (I think) "pavement" refers to any paved road or pedestrianised area; in British English it exclusively refers to the path next to the road for foot traffic, which Americans would term a "sidewalk". (1) is a "road" unless it's specific to your building in which case it's more likely to be a "drive".

Original, more general answer:

In Britain, it varies depending on if it's the front or rear of a property:

At the rear of the home: If it's paved (so the surface is stone, paving slabs, bricks etc.) the raised area is called a patio. If it were wood, it would be called decking. Note that's not "a decking", and you'll rarely hear it referred to as "a deck" over here. The lower area would be ground level, but you'll more likely hear it described in terms of what its surface is; a lawn or path for instance.

In front of the home the raised area serves a different purpose - patios and decking are recreational areas, often with an outdoor dining table on them. You'll not see those in front of most British houses, but you will often see a small raised area in front of the door. This is a "doorstep", in contrast to the American English "porch" which in British English always refers to a structure built outside of the front door to shelter from the weather. A lower area to park your car on is almost always a "drive", very rarely a "driveway".

  • 2
    In the US, I think "doorstep" would refer to a much smaller area, say 4 to 6 square feet directly in front of the door.
    – Chad
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 19:44
  • I updated my question, could you check it?
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 6:43
  • @Tom I've updated my answer to reflect this new information.
    – Dan Price
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 10:09
  • "A lower area to park your car on is almost always a "drive", very rarely a "driveway"." Not sure I can agree with this Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 12:11

While I generally agree with using "patio" or "porch" for raised or paved areas next to house, I don't think that quite applies to the areas in question. I would expect those terms to be used more for areas that are an extension of a building, rather than a fundamental part of it. There also needs to be stuff there.

For the small raised area right outside the building, I would refer to this simply as "the top of the steps". This would apply if I, for example, wanted give someone instructions to wait there. If I don't expect them wait or do anything specific there, I would simply say "go up the steps" (or I would just not mention the steps at all).

The shown area inside the building I might simply call a "passageway" or perhaps an "entrance passageway". The latter isn't a particularly common term to my knowledge, but it describes what it is. "Entrance hall" or "foyer" might also work, although some people might expect that area to be "inside" (i.e. you generally need to go through a door to get to that area and it's properly furnished). This assumes the front door is inside this area. If that's not the case, I would only call it a "passageway".

The above should be fine in the US.

The area next to the road (2) is called the "sidewalk" (American) or "pavement" (British).



It's not exactly a "driveway". Things like the U-shaped road-thing in front of a hotel don't really have a good name.

You sometimes say a "drive" (a "drive" is basically "a bigger driveway" - !)


This is certainly not a "patio". One possible word to use is "forecourt".

(Note however that, contradictingly, in a petrol/gas station, the forecourt is indeed the general area that cars rest on where the fuel pumps are.)

Or possibly (but unlikely) "entrance".

If you were in the office, in practice you'd say "meet you out front" to refer to exactly that area. So in a sense it's called the "out front".

Note that indeed it's basically the sidewalk but my impression is the whole thing (even the road) is more of a private structure, "part of the building" not just a sidewalk that goes on and on


You could call this the "entrance".

You could possibly call it a patio, but they tend to be more on houses.

An architect might call it the "arcade" or similar.

You could possibly say meet me "under the arches" (even though not literally arced).

As in another excellent answer, you could call this "on the steps", "meet me on the steps". (Even though not literally the steps that lead up to, uh, on the steps.)

Be aware that often in English there is no good, specific word for things like this.

As I mention for example, simply the "entrance driveway thing" in a large hotel, really has no clear name. It is "bigger than a driveway" but "smaller than a drive" - there's no real name!

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