English Lesson: House, Home, Apartment, Condo, Room

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

Today I want to talk about the place you live in. I don’t mean the city, I mean the building. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the vocabulary we used to talk about our home, so let me see how I can help you. Have a look at the photo above and then look at today’s lesson:

If you live in a big city, you might live in a building that you share with other people. If you pay rent, then this building is called an apartment building. In the apartment building there are many spaces, or apartments and different people rent one apartment in the building. Thus, you can use the word apartment to talk about the building, or the space you rent inside that building:

  • My apartment is on 79th street, near the museum. Here, apartment means the building.
  • I’m having a party on Friday, so I need to clean my apartment. Here, apartment means my space.

A condominium is just like an apartment building, except you buy (not rent) the space you live in. Most people use the short form of condominium, or condo. You can use the word condominium or condo, to talk about the building, or the space you own inside the building:

  • My condo is on 79th street, near the museum. Here, condo means the building.
  • I’m having a party on Friday, so I need to clean my condo. Here, condo means my space.

Most people talk about the size of their apartment/condo based on how many bedrooms it has.

  • I live in a studio (this is a one room apartment)
  • I live in a 2 bedroom condo.

Many people talk about their apartment or condo using the word house. So one meaning of the word house is, “the space I live in”

  • My house is on 79th street, near the museum.
  • I’m having a party on Friday, so I need to clean my house.

Of course the word house also refers to a small, one-family building, as shown on the right side of the photo above.

  • Joe just bought a new house.
  • I want to have my house painted.

House refers to just the building, and home refers to the building plus atmosphere and warmth in the building. Here are some ways we use the word home:

  • You have a lovely home.
  • I want to go home for the holidays
  • I’m home! (Said when you return from the outside)
  • I’m going to stay home tonight, I’m a little tired. Not, I’m going to stay in my room… (see below)

If you live with your family, or a roommate, you probably have you own bedroom. This bedroom is your space in the house or apartment. When you talk about your space you can say, my room.

  • My room is so messy. I really need to clean it.
  • My room is very hot in the summer time, so I just put in an air conditioner.

**Be careful! When you talk about your room, it means your bedroom ONLY. Take a look:

A: What did you do last weekend?
B: I stayed home. Not, I stayed in my room.

I hear this a lot, and if you say you stayed in your room, a native English speaker will imagine that you stayed in your bedroom the whole weekend, and that seems strange! My room means your bedroom, and not your house. Even if you did stay in your bedroom the whole weekend, you should say, I stayed home and not, I stayed in my room.

 
Well, it is time for me to leave the office and go home. Thanks for reading today, and feel free to leave me your suggestion for an one-point lesson!


Comments

comments