Curbs and Sidewalks
Rod poses the question:
In Spanish the words curb and sidewalk are interchangeable. Is it the same in English?
In U.S. English, the word sidewalk refers to a paved footpath alongside a street or a road. The sidewalk is usually raised above the level of the road. The curb is a stone or concrete edging between the road and the sidewalk.
In British usage, curb is spelled kerb. What Americans call a sidewalk, British speakers call the pavement.
Merchants that Americans call “street vendors” or “sidewalk vendors” are called “kerb-merchants” or “kerb-vendors” by British speakers.
Curious about the alleged lack of distinction between sidewalk and curb in Spanish, I looked the words up in my New World Spanish Dictionary and found the following:
acera: sidewalk; Mexican banqueta
encintado: curb (of a sidewalk)
borde de acera: curb
Comments from Spanish speakers welcome.
Browse all articles on the Vocabulary category or check the recommended content for you below:
Improve your English in 5 minutes a day! Subscribe to our Writing Tips and Exercises via Email
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!