Difference Between Steps and Stairs

Steps vs Stairs
 

Steps and Stairs are two words that are often confused due to the similarity in their meanings when actually, there is some difference between the two words. The word steps is used in the sense of ‘step of a stairway’ and the word stairs is used in the sense of ‘staircase.’ This is the main difference between the two words. However, you will see that the word step has more meanings such as keeping one foot ahead of the other and a single portion of a series of actions, etc. Let us examine each word to understand the meanings of each word first. Then, we will discuss the difference between steps and stairs.

What does Stair mean?

Normally, the word stairs is used in the sense of ‘staircase.’ A staircase is a vertical construction that allows people to ascend to another level of a building. Some staircases only have two or three stairs. These are mainly used to elevate the verandah of a house from the ground. Look at the sentences given below.

Angela climbed the stairs of her office with difficulty.

Francis could not climb the stairs due to injury.

In both the sentences, the word stairs is used in the sense of ‘staircase.’ As a result, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘Angela climbed the staircase of her office with difficulty.’ The second sentence can be rewritten as ‘Francis could not climb the staircase due to injury.’

The word stairs has its singular form in the word stair. However, most of the time, the word stairs is used in its plural form.

Difference Between Steps and Stairs

What does Step mean?

The word step is used in the sense of ‘a step or a part of a staircase.’ A step in a stairwell is the support a person gets to hold his foot as he ascends vertically. A collection of these steps creates a staircase. Take a look at the following sentences.

The boys go up the steps to reach the terrace.

The girls climb one step at a time.

In both the sentences, the word step or steps is used in the sense of ‘a step or a part of a staircase.’ As a result, the first sentence can be rewritten as ‘the boys go up the steps of the staircase to reach the terrace.’ The second sentence could be rewritten as ‘the girls climb one part of the staircase at a time.’

It is interesting to note that the word steps is sometimes figuratively used too. It is used in the sense of ‘paces’ as in the sentence ‘Francis put three steps across the ground.’ In this sentence, the word steps is used in the sense of ‘paces’ and hence, the sentence would be rewritten as ‘Francis put thee paces across the ground.’ Also, whether it is paces or steps, here, the sentence is saying Frank did the action of putting one foot ahead of the other again and again. This action is known in one word as ‘walk.’

Steps vs Stairs

Moreover, step also speaks about a single portion of a series of actions. Think that a group has to create a presentation about some topic. First, they have to discuss the topic. Then, they have to assign work to each member. After that, they can put a date for another meeting. The series of actions with regard to this presentation goes on. Each portion of creating a presentation is known as a step. For example, the first activity of discussing the topic is the first step.

What is the difference between Steps and Stairs?

• Meaning:

• The word step has multiple meanings such as the step of a stairway, keeping one foot ahead of the other, and a single portion of a series of actions.

• The word stairs means the staircase.

• Number:

• The word step is used both in the singular and plural forms.

• The word stairs is mostly used in the plural form.

• Relationship between steps and stairs:

• Step is the support a person gets to his foot while ascending vertically.

• A set of such steps creates a staircase.

• Part of Speech:

• Step is used as a noun as well as a verb.

• Stairs is only used as a noun.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Villa Saint Cyr staircase by Lionel Allorge (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Steps via Pixabay (Public Domain)
  • billiamos mcwallaceberg

    I disagree. What about the steps going off of a porch or the steps leading to the top of a temple. In most cases I noticed than if they are located outside they are considered steppes and if inside stairs.