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Quick answer
"Escalera" is a noun which is often translated as "stairs", and "escalerilla" is a noun which is often translated as "steps". Learn more about the difference between "escalera" and "escalerilla" below.
escalera(
ehs
-
kah
-
leh
-
rah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (in a building)
a. stairs
Tuvimos que subir por las escaleras.We had to go up the stairs.
b. stairway
La escalera da al mar.The stairway leads to the ocean.
c. staircase
Las escaleras están oscuras de noche.The staircase is dark at night.
2. (portable)
a. ladder
Los bomberos siempre llevan una escalera en su camión.The firefighters always carry a ladder on their truck.
3. (cards)
a. straight
Su full le ganó a mi escalera.Her full house beat my straight.
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escalerilla(
ehs
-
kah
-
leh
-
ree
-
yah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (aviation)
a. steps
Las azafatas se encargan de bajar la escalerilla cuando el avión aterriza.The flight attendants are responsible for lowering the steps when the plane lands.
b. stairs
Bajé por la escalerilla de la parte trasera.I left by the stairs at the rear of the plane.
2. (nautical)
a. gangway
Los pasajeros parecían mareados cuando bajaron por la escalerilla del barco.The passengers looked queasy when they came down the gangway from the ship.
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