Il fait noir dans la cage d’escalier.
eel fay nwaar dah lah kahzh day-skah-leeYAY. Click below to hear this.
It’s dark in the stairwell.
Many weather expressions use faire instead of être, and being dark,while not exactly the weather, is no exception. Il fait noir is the standard way to say it’s dark, as long as you are talking about the quantity of light inside or outside, rather than a color.
Whether it’s built with solid walls like a well or railings and bars like a cage, dim and closed-in or well-lit and airy, it’s still a stairwell in English and a cage d’escalier in French.
In France, you can light your way in the cage d’escalier with the minuterie. It’s a light switch on a timer, and it usually turns off before you reach your floor, especially if you are carrying groceries up to the cinquième. You’ll have to keep pushing the button every floor or two to force the light to stay on. Il fait noir dans la cage d’escalier!