Piso vs. Apartamento – What’s the diff?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 9 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #52657
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Ok. Help me out here as I’m an American and these terms confuse me. What’s the difference between un piso and un apartamento? I figure it’s the same difference between an apartment and a flat, although I don’t know what the diff is there either.

    Thanks in advance. 😀

  • #69461
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Piso = apartamento = flat

    Mark

  • #69462
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    they all mean the same thing? Cause someone was telling me that if a flat reaches a certain size it classifies as an apartment…

  • #69465
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    I think someone was pulling your leg there. As Mark says, that are the same thing.

  • #69469
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    ok. dont think they were intentionally pulling my leg. it was a spaniard and he was referring to the difference between piso and apartamento. i think that often when they adopt english ideas and words they don’t really understand what they mean and use them to signify different things.

  • #69475
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mark is correct, however when I look in city estate agents windows they seem to refer to city apartments above commercials as piso´s yet if they are resort or coastal apartments in towns they say apartamento! ERA and Remax do this all the time.

  • #69487
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The difference is quite nebulous but I agree with you Paddy – a flat or ‘piso’ is generally located in a city/town & an apartment on a coastal resort. The actual physical differences, then very little…

    This may help – http://www.mianna.es/page4/page12/page12.html

    Andrew.

  • #69489
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    According to the Spanish dictionary, the difference would be in the size; an apartment is a small flat. I know this is not always the case in real life. You can always check http://www.rae.es if you are fluent in Spanish.

  • #69490
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    ok. i guess that explains it cause i know that at least some people here think there is a difference between the two. i heard that the difference occurs when it goes to 3 or 4 bedrooms.

    in anycase from my everyday experience that people almost always call them pisos and i rarely hear apartment used.

  • #69542
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Don´t worry, you´re not crazy wynnwill – there is definitely a difference between the two.

    Apartamento is generally one or two beds. Three or more and it becomes a piso.

    If I ever incorrectly refer to my piso as an apartamento I always get strange looks and then the “ah, she’s foreign…she doesn´t know what she’s saying” look.

  • #69545
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    thanks for the confirmation jerez!

    in england there is no diff between the two, right?

  • #69552
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @wynnwill wrote:

    thanks for the confirmation jerez!

    in england there is no diff between the two, right?

    I have never heard of a Piso in England. We would call them apartments or flats I suppose.

    I think the translation for Piso is Floor in the UK so perhaps it could be an apartment that covers a whole floor whereas you can have numerous apartments on a single floor? Complete guess.

    However, direct translations often lose something in err, um … translation? 😕

  • #69554
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    Anonymous

    what i mean is that there is no diff between flat and apartment in england

  • #69556
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    There is no difference between a Flat and an Apartment in UK terminology. It is more “in vogue” to say you own an apartment!!!

  • #69558
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    cool. us new yorkers just call everything an apartment. a flat would only be used for a true rathole…like a dirty flat filled with winos and bums. 😀

  • #69561
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @wynnwill wrote:

    cool. us new yorkers just call everything an apartment. a flat would only be used for a true rathole…like a dirty flat filled with winos and bums. 😀

    I think I’ve been there but I’m sure it was in LA by the Pier.

    What a night that was 😯 Bloody good fun though (once we realised we were still alive in the morning)

  • #69562
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I always thought ‘apartment’ was an American-ism and ‘flat’ was English.

    America: An apartment building
    England: A block of flats

    Even in the newspapers in England, it was Flats to rent/sale, or ‘flat-mate’.
    But like many things from America, ‘apartment’ eventually crept over here.

    Definitely in my younger days, one always referred to “a flat in Berkeley Square”, didn’t one?????!!!!! 😆

    An “apartment in Berkeley Square” just doesn’t have the same ring to it!.
    What would Lady Caversham have to say about that….. ❗ 🙄

    (I’ve been on the ouzo….)

  • #69563
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    we also say flat to sound all cool and british. lots of university guys trying to get laid. so your things creep over here as well.

  • #69564
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi All,

    As its Friday and for a bit of fun I will muddy the waters some more. In my area (south Alicante) the builders and even my own esctirura refer to ground floor apartments as bungalows!!! I have to remind the Spanish staff that when they going to show someone a “nice bungalow”, they mean an apartment, whereas the English client thinks they are now going to see a villa. And it gets more confusing beacuse the Spanish refer to a villa as a chalet !!

    Best wishes

    Bernard

  • #69565
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie – Surely it should be “a nightingale sang in Berkley Square”! Well it is Friday!! 😆

  • #69573
    Profile photo of mariadecastro
    mariadecastro
    Participant

    In our coloquial language ( also stated in the Dictionary of the Royal Academy) a piso has always been bigger ( standard: 2,3,4 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms) than an apartment ( standard: 2 bed as much and 1 bath).

    Have a good weekend.

    M.

  • #69574
    Profile photo of mariadecastro
    mariadecastro
    Participant

    That ( previous post) is in Spain of course, and in every region of Spain.
    M.

  • #69580
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    This thread is resembling a bad news day in Fleet Street!! 😆

  • #69639
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    This thread is resembling a bad news day in Fleet Street!! 😆

    Wapping darling. A bad News day in Wapping. 😉

    (Someone pass the wine please.)

  • #69643
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    oops! here in Valencia we consider apartments as vacational flats, probably Valencia is not a good example of a part of Spain, we tend to change vocabulary, i.e. lunch = almuerzo (http://www.rae.es, most honorable Spanish dictionary) but we call almuerzo what English consider a morning tea break – instead we eat a big sandwhich stuffed with tortilla española, calamari and so on; so lunch for us is as simple as “comida”.

    In Southamerica they call “piso” the floor where you step…

    flat or apartment, I hope Wynnwill find a nice place!

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