Hi, N here. Today’s post is about the word ‘staff.’ There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this term even for my upper-level students.
‘Staff’ refers to a group or team of people that work somewhere; for example, in a restaurant, clothing store, or manufacturing company. ‘Staff’ should not be used to refer to an individual.
Here are some examples of how I hear it used incorrectly:
- A staff helped me find the size I was looking for.
- I asked a staff if I could try on a pair of shoes in a size 10.
Here are some examples of correct usage:
- The staff at Isetan department store are very polite. (This refers to all the people working there, not just one person. )
- She’s a new member of the staff. (This refers to someone who has recently joined the company.)
- The entire staff played a role in making 2018 a successful year. (This means everyone on the team did contributed to the company’s success in 2018.)
If you want to talk about one of the workers in a place, you can say staff member or member of the staff. For example:
- A member of the staff helped me find the size I was looking for.
- I asked a staff member if I could try on a pair of shoes in a size 10.
Hope that helps! See you next time!
Would you like to read this article in Japanese?
How about this topic?