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|Literally||on/to the floor (of a multi-story building)|
|Pronunciation||[ah lay tazh]|
|IPA||[a le taʒ]|
Usage notes: À l’étage is one of those expressions that have more meaning than the words would seem to indicate. Literally, it just means "on the floor," but what it really means is either "upstairs" from where you’re currently standing, or "on the second floor of a two-story building," regardless of whether you’re anywhere near it.
In other words, à l’étage on its own is equivalent to le premier étage, meaning "second floor" to Americans, "first floor" to Brits.
|J’ai oublié mon livre à l’étage.||I forgot my book upstairs.|
|On va construire un resto avec un appartement à l’étage.||We’re going to build a restaurant with an apartment on the second floor.|
However, à l’étage can also mean "downstairs," depending on what else you say with it:
|à l’étage du dessus
à l’étage au-dessus
|upstairs, one floor up||monter à l’étage
monter à l’étage supérieur
monter à l’étage (number)
|to go upstairs
to go up one floor
to go up to the (__) floor
|à l’étage du dessous
à l’étage en-dessous
|downstairs, one floor down||descendre à l’étage inférieur
descendre à l’étage (number)
|to go down one floor
to go down to the (__) floor
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