Porch vs. Veranda vs. Verandah – Difference & Definition

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

As a former interior designer, I’ve heard the terms porch and veranda used interchangeably, but many are surprised to find out that they don’t mean the same thing. So, I will explain what a porch and veranda are, which countries use which terms, and how to use both in writing.

Porch vs. Veranda: What’s the Diff?

Porch vs. Veranda vs. Verandah Difference Definition

Okay, yes, they’re outdoor structures on a home, usually attached to an entrance. But a porch is mostly reserved for the front or back door and is a confined and covered area.

A veranda works similarly, but it tends to be larger, more open, and even wrap around the house.

A porch is supported by beams and posts to keep the roof up. But a veranda is supported with a ground-level platform and has railings all along it.

What Is a Veranda?

A veranda is an outdoor space attached along the sides of a house and can be covered or completely open. Kind of like a patio.

The concept originated in India, where it was called a “veranda,” meaning a long balcony, and was later adopted by the British during colonial times.

Their purpose is mainly to provide a shaded place to sit outside and enjoy the view. They can be ground level, which is the most common, but you can have higher verandas with larger homes.

What Is a Porch?

A porch, similar to a veranda, is usually smaller in size and can be either open or enclosed but always covered. Here in Newfoundland, where I’m from, it’s a place to remove your dirty boots, hang your jacket, etc. But in other places around the world, a porch can also be the front or back ground-level deck that’s also covered. It’s supported by beams and columns.

Is It Veranda or Verandah?

Veranda vs Verandah Ngram
Veranda and verandah usage trend.

So, technically both are correct, but it just depends on which era you live in. Back in the days of Jane Austen’s novel, the British used the version with the H at the end, but in recent years, they dropped it to go along with the rest of the world that uses the spelling v-e-r-a-n-d-a.

Do Americans Say Veranda or Porch?

Porch vs Veranda Ngram
Porch and veranda usage trend.

Actually, both terms are used in the US. But “porch” is more commonly used than “veranda,” probably because it’s a simpler term with little confusion around it. Americans can say porch and mean veranda, but most people wouldn’t know the difference. But if they used the word veranda, some might stop and question it.

Is It a Porch or Veranda in Australia?

In Australia, both porch and veranda are used to describe covered outdoor spaces in any aspect. But, you’ll find that veranda is used more.

Sentence Examples Using the Word Porch

  • My husband and I sat on the porch and watched the sunset together at the cabin.
  • You won’t believe it! Our daughter did her chores; she swept the leaves off the porch and watered the garden.
  • The kids are working up an appetite by playing on the porch while I cook dinner.
  • See how the porch light flickered in the wind, casting shadows on the wall?

Sentence Examples Using the Word Veranda

  • My grandparents skipped the excursions and just sat on the veranda of their hotel room and enjoyed the ocean view.
  • Oh my gosh! Our hotel had a beautiful veranda where we could relax and read.
  • The party eventually spilled out onto the veranda, where people chatted and laughed all night long.
  • The beautiful, old colonial house had a veranda that wrapped around the entire building.

Sit Out on the Porch or Veranda

So, there you have it. Porch is a more common and simpler word, recognized by most people and can be used to describe a porch or large patio. But a veranda is mostly reserved for describing a long, covered outdoor area that can even wrap around the home.