Piso vs. Apartamento – What’s the diff?

This topic contains 24 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 10 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #52657

    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

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Piso = apartamento = flat

    Mark

  • #69462

    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

    Inez
    Participant

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

  • #69469

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Anonymous

    thanks for the confirmation jerez!

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

  • #69552

    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

    Anonymous

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

  • #69556

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Anonymous
    Participant

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

  • #69573

    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

    mariadecastro
    Participant

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

  • #69580

    Anonymous
    Participant

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

  • #69639

    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

    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!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.