Example 1: Is there any room for me to sit?.

Example 2: I have got to make some space for Mark's things.

I am a little confused where to use space and room. I always make an error when using these words.

  • 2
    I usually go by my intuition, and I think I can't spell the rules out (keep in mind that I'm a non-native speaker); however, you might find my intuition useful. Both space and room can be used for an empty area. The subtle difference, as far as I can tell, is that room usually implies "enough" space. The contrast can be observed in common expressions: "clear a space", but "make room". Dec 12, 2014 at 13:19
  • Just to add 'room and space' is also possible! :)
    – Maulik V
    Dec 13, 2014 at 6:23
  • "Room and space" appears to be some kind of nautical jargon. It's a mistake to link to it here.
    – user230
    Dec 13, 2014 at 7:54
  • I agree with Damkerng's intuition. I also tend to think of room being used for activities while space is used for static purposes. For example, if I make room for my car in my garage I think of the car plus all the activities associated with it like getting in and out, working on it, walking around it. If I just make space for the car then I'm just making sure the car can fit. Also when I say I want to do an action I use "room". I need room to stand, room to grow, room to run around, and room to eat.
    – Readin
    Dec 10, 2015 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


To me, room means a space with specific dimensions. As Damkerng T. noted, it implies that the space is sufficient for a certain purpose.

Make room for me!

Means: Clear a space of sufficient dimensions for me to sit on.

Go mark down a 5" by 5" space in our yard, please.

In this example space is being used to refer to a space of geometrical dimensions. You could not use the word room here, which is defined as an extent of space occupied by or sufficient or available for something.

To further clarify, take a look at the following example including both the terms space and room:

Please mark down a space^ in our yard with room^^ for our car.

^ no dimensions specified, so far it could mean a space of any size

^^ room for our car clarifies that the the space must be big enough to fit an object of size X.

Also, you can use the word "spot" (a particular place, area, or part) to refer to a space that's of sufficient dimensions for something.

I need a spot for my car.

Spot implies that the space needs to be big enough to fit a certain object as well.

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