When do steps become stairs? And are ladders stairs?

Today Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Stairs, Steps and Ladders and so I was very proud of myself when I found a picture which had all three!Three in one - a step, stairs and a ladder

Cee has got me thinking though. When do steps become stairs? Well off I went to the usual sources we all step to at a time of research – a dictionary, wikipedia and the wider internet. Unsurprisingly I am not the only one to have asked this question however I was surprised to find no definitive view!  So I thought I’d ask you. Which of the following would you describe as stairs and which are just steps? 

What made the difference for you? Was is the number of steps, whether or not there was a handrail or perhaps all of your stairs are the ones which are part of a building? We probably all agree though that stairs are a series of steps so surely these next two could only be described as steps.

Whilst I may not have answered the first question I did find an answer to my second. Ladders are a type of stairs as are escalators! Now I cannot find my photograph of the circular escalators in San Francisco but I did find this one of a Portuguese ladder.

Ladder to the skies

Ladder to the Skies

If you have not met Cee before visit her Fun Foto challenge page but most importantly have fun as you step creatively today. I certainly have, just look at my final fun foto!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

CMU Sky Steps in Pittsburgh

12 thoughts on “When do steps become stairs? And are ladders stairs?

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  3. Fun photos, especially the last! As for your question: I didn’t give it much thought, but being a non-English speaker I’d thought that Brits say steps, whereas Americans say stairs, sort of like shops and stores. 😀

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  5. Hi Becky, these are awesome steps, stairs and ladders. Marvelous choices.
    From what I can distinguish and other have heard it also is that stairs are indoors and steps are outdoors. But I really don’t distinguish one for the other. 😀

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