Students are often confused at the difference between a hall and a corridor.
There are many other similar terms which refer to the same thing such as passage and aisle which add to the students confusion.
So after a little research of my own, I thought I would come up with an authoritative answer of my own.
But I do not day I am right.
First of all let’s take a look at the word ‘Corridor’ which has its origins in both latin and french and has found its way into the english language.
The simplest definition is that a corridor is a ‘running area’.
It does not mean at all that it is narrow or that it may or may not have doors leading off from it on either side.
The clue, I think, is in the definition referring to ‘run’ which suggests that it is an elongated area which could be wide or narrow according to circumstances.
A corridor by this definition does not need to be only in a building but can be air space, at sea or on land.
We tend to think of a hall as two separate things but actually can be the same thing depending on the layout of the building.
What I mean is this.
A hall can be an area of the house, perhaps in the entrance, which has the dimensions and feel of a room.
A hallway can lead off any room in a house and not necessarily the hall.
A hall can also be a building such as a concert hall, assembly or billiards hall.
Whatever, a hall or hallway refers entirely to a building but a corridor does not.
We also tend to think of a hall serving a domestic dwelling such as a house or apartment while we refer to corridors within a school, office or other such building.
What about an aisle then inside a church or on a plane or train?
The bride on her wedding day walks up the church aisle and not a corridor nor a hall.
We therefore think of an aisle as an unencased, open walkway which a hall, hallway and corridor are definitely not.
Not inside a building a least.
By the same token, we would never refer to a transport corridor such as the M4 corridor in southern England as an aisle or a hall.
So my view is that a hall is shorter and a corridor is longer.
There is a passageway with doors leading off to two or three rooms on both or either side.
I would call this a Hall because it is a short passageway.
When there is a long passageway with lots of rooms leading off from it such as in a Hotel, although it could be called a Hall (or Hallway), a Corridor is the most appropriate description for it.
Most homes are unlikely to have a hall with more than a few access points leading off from it to bedrooms and bathrooms but it is completely different in a hotel, school or corporate building.
The use of the word ‘corridor’ to refer to a tract of land, however large, through which something happens (or does not happen if it is a safety corridor) has evolved in more recent times.
It has even been used in science-fiction literature to refer to people lost in a corridor of time between two time zones.
As I said, I do not say I am absolutely correct but I believe this offers a rational interpretation on the words we choose to use to describe passageways, hall, aisles and corridors.