English Collocations with House and Home

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Difference between house and home

The word home simply means a place where you live (this could be a house, apartment, condo, tent, etc.) and where you feel an emotional connection to staying in that place.

The word house usually refers specifically to the building. A house is an independent building, different from an apartment which is one unit inside a shared building.

English collocations with home

adjectives + home

broken home refers to a family in which there are serious problems that separate the family, such as divorce, abuse, or a parent being in prison.

The opposite is a secure / stable / supportive home – a family in which the relationships are healthy and it is a good environment for children to grow up in.

There are special types of homes for older people. A retirement home is a place where people can live after they retire (after they stop working, around age 65). Retirement homes may be apartments, or they may be individual houses close together. They might often include activities and social events.

People living in retirement homes are usually still active and independent. For old people who need more medical care, they can live in a nursing home. This is a place where old people live and have access to nurses, doctors, and aides who can help them with the tasks of daily life.

English Collocations with House and Home Espresso English

A nursing home (Image source)

verbs + home

We often use the verbs come, get, go, and leave with “home.” Note that we NEVER say “to home” – go to home, come to home, etc. The word “home” does not require a preposition before it:

  • When are you coming home?
  • I usually get home from work around 6.
  • We went home after the party.
  • If you leave home early, you can catch a less crowded train.

The same applies with bring/take somebody/something home – the preposition “to” is not needed.

  • If you don’t eat all your food, you can take the leftovers home.
  • brought my kids home to change their clothes.
English Collocations with House and Home Espresso English

Never use the word “to” before “home”! (Image source)

home + another word

If you bought your own house (you do not pay rent) then you are a homeowner. Homeowners might want to do some home improvement – repairing and changing things about the house to make it nicer to live in and also more valuable.

Your hometown is the city where you grew up, and your homeland is the country where you grew up.

A lot of people really enjoy eating home cooking – a meal that has been prepared at home (instead of at a restaurant or purchased pre-prepared). You can also use the adjective homemade to describe foods that were made at home:

  • I’m going to my grandmother’s house for some home cooking.
  • She brought some homemade brownies to the office.

English collocations with house

As you can see, most of the collocations with “house” refer to features of the building itself.

adjectives + house

We can describe a house as single-storey, two-storey, etc. to say how many floors (levels) it has. We can also say it’s a one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom house, etc. to describe how many bedrooms it has.

Some POSITIVE adjectives to describe a house include: a luxurious / magnificent / splendid / lovely / delightful / comfortable / spacious house.

Some NEGATIVE adjectives to describe a house include: a dilapidated / shabby / dingy house (= the house is in bad condition and probably rather dirty) and a cramped house (= the house doesn’t have enough space).

A neutral way to say a house is regular and not especially fancy/expensive is to call it a modest house. A neutral/positive way to say a house is small is to describe it as a cozy house.

If nobody is living in a house, then it is an empty / unoccupied / vacant house.

English Collocations with House and Home Espresso English

A vacant house (Image source)

verbs + house

You can buy a house and sell a house.

If you are paying money every month to live in a house, then you are renting the house.

If you own the house and someone else is paying YOU money every month to live there, then you are renting the house out.

Construction companies build houses, and also demolish houses (destroy them / knock them down) that are old and no longer safe.

If a homeowner borrowed money from the bank to buy the house, but then has financial difficulty and stops paying the bank back, then the bank might repossess the house (take the house away from the owner so that now the bank owns the house).

Other ways to talk about home improvement – changing things about the house to make it better and nicer to live in – include redecorating, refurbishing, remodeling, and renovating the house.

English Collocations with House and Home Espresso English

Before and after remodeling a kitchen (Image source)

house + other words

When you are looking for a place to live, you are house hunting.

After you move into a house, you might throw a housewarming party to celebrate the fact that you entered your new residence.

A married woman who takes care of the house and kids while her husband works can be called a housewife. If the situation is reversed (the woman works and the husband stays home), then he is a house husband. These people can also be called a stay-at-home mom and stay-at-home dad if they have children.

Learn the common combinations of words used by native English speakers!
English Collocations with House and Home Espresso English

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