A new year has begun! So let me ask you a question: where did you spend most of your time in 2020? I don’t need to know much about your life to guess your answer: home. We all hope we get to get out of the house and explore this big wide world soon, but until we can do that how about the different types of houses in English? We will also go over the names for the parts of the house.
Home is where the heart is
There’s no place like home, right? For some people, home is a house. For some others, it’s an apartment. Some more adventurous people may call an RV their home. The thing is: there are several different types of house one can choose from. Besides a personal preference, people usually consider their budget and the safety of the neighborhood when choosing a house to call their own.
Before going into details about the different types of house in English, let’s understand what the word home really means. It is more than just the house or apartment someone lives in. Home is more about the place where you and your family live and create memories. Home is not just the building, it is where you feel safe and cared for. Therefore, no matter where you live, you can call it a home if it makes you feel loved and respected.
More privacy and sometimes a backyard
Now, moving on to the different types of home, we should start with a house. People can live in a single-family house (or detached house, in British English) or in a multi-family house (or semi-detached house, in British English). The difference between them is that a multi-family house has two units in one building, usually side-by-side. Even though the two families share the same building, the entrances are separate. Single-family houses are preferred by 80% of the Americans and 7 in 10 Americans do live in this type of house. Another type of house is a townhouse. They are usually narrower and taller than a single-family house and they are located in the city. New York City is famous for its townhouses.
One building, many units
Another very common type of home is an apartment (or flat, in British English). Apartments are located in an apartment building or apartment complex. Apartment buildings may or may not have an elevator, as well as common areas, such as a gym, a pool, a laundry room, and a party room. In some buildings, the top floor is called a penthouse. These units are usually bigger and more luxurious. A very tall apartment building is called a skyscraper.
An apartment complex is a residential development that has multiple apartment buildings that is managed by one owner. These complexes can have hundreds of units.
Where college students live
In the United States, college students often live in what we call dormitories or dorm for short. These buildings are divided into rooms and big shared bathrooms. A dorm usually has a study room, a kitchen, and some common areas.
In England, you will find lots of cottages. A cottage is a small old-fashioned house that is often located in the countryside. You will also find farmhouses in the countryside. A farmhouse is a house located on a farm. There are usually barns attached to this type of house.
House on wheels
Some people carry their houses around. This is the case of the owners of recreational vehicles, or RV for short. Typical amenities include a kitchen, a bathroom, and one or more bedrooms. Trailers are RVs that need to be attached to a truck. Some other RVs are self-motorized.
Big and impressive homes
We call manor a big country house with a lot of land. They usually have large gardens. You may have seen the Netflix show called “The Haunting of Bly Manor”. If you haven’t, go check it out to see what a manor looks like –– and the show is pretty good too. A mansion is also a large and impressive house. The difference between a manor and a mansion is that manors are located in the countryside and they are usually passed down through families. Rich people live in mansions, which can be located anywhere, even in cities. What would Beverly Hills be without its mansions?
I always wanted to live in a treehouse – it’s my childhood dream that never came true, or not yet, at least! A treehouse is built between the branches of a large tree. Even though most treehouses are built for kids to play, there are some hotels around the world where you can stay in a treehouse. It must be such a great experience! Now, tell me: have you ever had a treehouse? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below.
Parts of the house in English
No matter the type of house you decide to live in, most types of houses have the same rooms within them. Let’s start with the outside area.
We can call it a yard. There is usually a path leading to the front door that goes through the yard. The driveway is the area where we park a car. You may also have a garage, which is either a building attached to the house or a covered area with a gate for you to keep your car when you are not using it.
Some houses have a letterbox, which is where the mailman will put your letters in. A porch is the covered area near the entrance of the house. If you live in an apartment, you probably have a balcony, which is a platform on the outside of a building.
Moving on to the inside, here are the areas we usually have in a house:
- attic: a space or room just below the roof of a building, where people usually keep stuff they don’t use very often.
- bedroom: here is where you sleep and keep your clothes and other belongings.
- bathroom: here is where you shower and look after your personal hygiene. When the bathroom is directly connected to a bedroom we call it an en-suite bathroom. If the en-suite bathroom is attached to two different rooms we may call it a “Jack and Jill bathroom”.
- home office: this is where some people work from home. There is usually a desk, a computer, and a chair.
- living room: this is where we have sofas (or couch) and a TV. The living room is often used for relaxing and entertaining guests.
- dining room: this is where we have a dining table. Meals are often served in this room.
- kitchen: we have cabinets and appliances in this room. This is where we prepare and sometimes serve food.
- laundry room: the laundry room has a washing machine and a dryer.
- basement: the floor of a building which is partly or entirely below ground level. Some people may turn the basement into a playroom or movie room, for instance.
What’s your home like? We are curious to know in which type of house you live in. If you feel like it, please share your thoughts in the comment section! Now that you know some house vocabulary in English it will be easy to talk about your home!