As Japanese houses commonly have higher floor, the verb 上がる (go up) is appropriate, I think.

How about non-Japanese houses in which the floor has the same level? Is the phrase うちに上がる still compatible?

One more question, is it ok to use うちに入る instead of うちに上がる ?

  • I guess うちに上がる has the connotation of "getting into the house" regardless of the architectural style of the building. Of course others may well have other opinions. – eltonjohn Jun 23 '15 at 15:11
  • I guess うちに入る has a slightly different flavour: the emphasis is on the action of "going in" rather than "getting in because invited/asked to do so." Here again, others may have other opinions. – eltonjohn Jun 23 '15 at 15:38
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    One difference occurs to me: You can say 上がって to someone who's standing in the 玄関, but usually only 入って to someone who's outside. – dainichi Jun 23 '15 at 16:22

I would still use 「[上]{あ}がる」 even if I moved to a basement or tepee tomorrow. I cannot speak for other Japanese-speakers but I myself do not really think of "going up" when I say 「[家]{いえ}に上がる」 even though the floor of my home is over 40 centimeters (two steps!) higher than the "genkan" = "entrance".

If I used 「家に[入]{はい}る」, I would feel as if I were a thief entering a house without removing my shoes. As a resident or guest, I would always use 「上がる」.

I might also add that even in the latest wheelchair-accessible condominiums with no elevated floor, people still use 「上がる」.

But who knows? A couple of generations after moving into a tepee, my descendants might be saying 「家に入る」 or the equivalent of that in Navajo.

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