Thu, 4 February 2010
This podcast seems like a very simple one; what could I possibly have to teach about the stairs? Well, there are many kinds of stairs in a home. You have the steps leading up to the front door, or between one room and another. Sometimes a room can be 'split level' meaning that there is a step all across the width of the room, creating the effect of two different rooms. And then you have the stairs that take you from one floor to another. The stairs between floors can be called the staircase. We also use the expression, "a flight of stairs" when you are not in a home. For example: At the clinic, I had to go up three flights of stairs to get to my doctor. In the home, there are also different kiinds of stairs. Normally, a staircase is made of wood, concrete, compressed materials, or even metal. A spiral staircase is an interesting and space saving way to connect two floors. Have you heard the word 'landing'? Of course it could be used when talking about planes 'landing' in the airport etc. But the noun, a landing, can refer to an area of level ground in the middle of a staircase or at the end. For example: You left your shoes at the top of the stairs, on the landing. Or: The children love to play half way up the stairs, on the landing. A staircase will often have a handrail which prevents you from falling over the edge. This is made up of banisters, which are like upright poles, and then the horizontal piece on top that you hold on to. So, as you are running upstairs and downstairs, you hold on to the handrail, or just let your hand slide along the top of it. The finish, or surface material of stairs, can obviously be just about anything, depending on where you live. We have carpeted stairs at home because of the cold winters. Some houses that recquire carpet for warmth, have a 'runner' on the stairs. Runners are long strips of carpet that do not completely cover the stairs; the edges of each step are exposed. Using a runner allows a view of the material underneath, perhaps a beautiful wood, or an elegant tile. It just goes to show that there is a lot more to stairs than you might first think.
Stair related vocabulary: handrail, runner,staircase, landing, banister, flight of stairs, split level.
1. I must clean the handrail; sticky fingers have been all over it.
2. We bought a new runner for the staircase; it compliments the wood perfectly.
3. I wove the Christmas wreath through the banisters for a pretty decoration.
4. We must take the elevator (lift); there are too many flights of stairs.
5. One part of our split level is a lounge, and the other is an office.