Burglar was waiting at the staircase

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atakeris

Senior Member
Latvian
hello,

The burglar was waiting at the stairs/staircase/stairway.

Meaning: he was in the area where is the starcase to all floors.

What's the name of the space where is a staircase in a big building?
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    If I understand you: "The burglar was waiting at the bottom of the stairs."

    Most big buildings have elevators/lifts, rather than stairs.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In the U.S. we call it a stairwell. We would say the burglar was waiting (maybe hiding) in the stairwell.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Interesting. I've never heard that. Looking at Random House, I see only one definition for stairwell: the vertical shaft or opening containing a stairway.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Really? What do you do when the power goes out or there's a fire? ;)
    Look for a staircase? Yes, that's it. Ok, I yield on all counts – he's in the stairwell, waiting on some floor or other, not necessarily at the bottom of the stairs as I had imagined.

    Thanks, all. :)
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The weird thing for me is I never realized that the stairwell is just the space. It's pretty much impossible to go into the stairwell without going onto the stairs so I always thought it was all one thing, but apparently the stairwell is just the space that holds the staircase.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    The burglar was waiting at the stairs/staircase/stairway.

    Meaning: he was in the area where is the starcase to all floors is.

    What's the name of the space where is a staircase in a big building is?
    As Copyright said, "in the stairwell" - though that doesn't tell us whether he's at the top or the bottom, or on a landing (or on the stairs themselves) somewhere in between. His actual location would need to be specified.


    Really? What do you do when the power goes out or there's a fire? ;)
    To quote Heinlein:

    When in danger or in doubt,
    Run in circles, scream and shout.

    :D
     
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