1. Introducing Where You Live—Types of Home
Let’s start with a simple sentence:
What could you put there? You could say:
In Britain, sometimes people say flat. Flat and apartment have the same meaning.
Next, let’s add a bit more detail. What kind of house or apartment is it?
- I live in a small, two-storey house in the suburbs.
When we say how many floors a building has, we normally use the word storey. For example, you can live in a two-storey house, a four-storey apartment building, etc.
- I live in an apartment, on the third floor of a four-storey building.
There are many different kinds of house and apartment. For example, do you live in a terraced house, a semi-detached house, or a detached house? Terraced houses have other houses on both sides. A semi-detached-house has another house on one side, and a detached house stands by itself.
Detached houses are normally larger and cost more…
…while terraced houses are normally smaller and cheaper.
What kind of house is most common in your country?
What about apartments? Many apartments are in apartment buildings—easy enough, right?
If you live in a very tall apartment building with many floors, you can say you live in a high-rise (in the US), or a tower block (in the UK).
Sometimes, a house is divided into apartments. These are called converted apartments.
Apartments come in many different sizes. If an apartment just has one room, which is a bedroom and a living room together, it’s called a studio. Of course, you can get bigger apartments: two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom apartments, etc.
Large apartments might be duplex apartments. This means the apartment has more than one floor.
What about you? Where do you live—in a house, or in an apartment? Can you make a sentence with the vocabulary from this section? For example:
- I live in a two-storey terraced house.
- I live in an apartment, on the 28th floor of a high-rise building.
- I live in a converted studio apartment.
Next, let’s continue talking about your home and see how you can describe the inside of your home in more detail.
2. Describing Your Home
If you want to describe your home, what can you talk about? Well, you could start by talking about what rooms it has.
- My house has two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a garden.
It’s always better to add adjectives or details to make your speaking more interesting! Let’s try:
- My house has two small bedrooms, a kitchen with a dining table, a living room with big windows and a small garden.
What other rooms might you have in your home? You might have a dining room where people can sit and eat together. Maybe you have a study or an office where you can work. If you live in a warmer country, you might have a balcony or even a terrace where you can sit outside.
What about your home? What rooms does it have? Does your home have a garden, a balcony, or another outside area? Try to make one or two sentences about your home. For example:
- I live in a two-bedroom apartment. The bedrooms are quite small, but there’s a big living room with a dining area, a modern kitchen, and also a small balcony where we can sit outside in the summer.
What can you say about your home?
3. Saying what You Like and Dislike
OK, now you can hopefully give some facts about where you live. But what about your opinion: what do you like about your home, and what would you change if you could? Let’s look at some words you can use to describe buildings or rooms.
Positive words you can use to describe your home include:
- Spacious –> large and with lots of room
- Cosy –> comfortable in a warm way
- Light –> describes a home which gets lots of natural light
- Warm/cool –> comfortable in winter/summer
- Convenient –> close to shops, transport, your job, etc.
You can use convenient + for. For example:
- It’s convenient for the subway.
- It’s convenient for my office.
Could you use any of these words when talking about your home?
What if you don’t like where you live? Here are some words you could use:
- Cramped –> too small, so you don’t have enough space
- Dark –> doesn’t get enough light, so that it’s dark inside even when it’s sunny outside
- Draughty –> cold air comes in in the winter
- Stuffy –> there’s not enough air, so it’s uncomfortable in hot weather
- Noisy –> if your home is near a main road, it might be noisy, even at night
Can you make a sentence about your home using some of these words? For example:
- My house is light and spacious, but it’s also very draughty in winter.
- I like my apartment because it’s cosy, although it can be noisy because there’s a restaurant just downstairs.
OK, now you can say something about your home and what you think of it. What else can you talk about on this topic?
4. Saying Who You Live With
Who do you live with? Do you live with your parents, your husband/wife, or your family? Or do you live with flatmates (people you share a rented apartment with) or friends?
Let’s look at examples of what you could say here:
- I live with my parents.
- I live in a shared house. I have four flatmates.
- I live by myself.
What about you? Learn more with this Oxford Online English lesson on talking about your family.
OK, that was easy! There’s one more thing we can talk about—let’s look:
5. Describing Your Neighbourhood
First, be careful with the word neighbourhood. A neighbourhood is not a person! Your neighbourhood is the area near your home.
So, where is your home? Is it in the city centre, the suburbs, or is it outside the city? If you live outside the city, do you live on the outskirts of the city, in a village, or in the middle of nowhere?
How could you describe your neighbourhood? Is it quiet or lively? Trendy or boring? Are there many cafés, bars, restaurants, or other things to do? Are there shops, parks, or sports facilities?
For example, you could say:
- I live in a very lively area just south of the city centre. There are lots of cafes, shops, and places to go.
- I live in a quiet neighbourhood in the suburbs, in the north of the city. It’s a new area, and it’s nice but also quite boring. There isn’t really anything to do.
What about you? Can you say something about your neighbourhood?
Now, let’s try to put everything together. If you use everything we’ve looked at, you should be able to produce a clear, detailed paragraph talking about your home. For example:
- I live in a two-storey terraced house. It has two bedrooms, a living room, a small kitchen and a garden. It’s cosy and convenient for getting to work, but it’s a bit cramped, especially when we have guests. I live with my wife and daughter. Our house is near the city centre, in a quiet neighbourhood. There isn’t much to do, but there are some small shops and a park where we go if the weather’s nice.
Here’s one more:
- I live by myself in a studio apartment. It just has one main room, with a tiny kitchen. It’s very warm in winter, but it can get a bit stuffy in summer. I live in the city centre, very close to everything. It’s very lively, with lots of bars and restaurants. It’s a good place for young people to live, but not many families choose to live here.
What about you? Can you make an answer like this to talk about where you live? Try to use some of the language from the lesson. We hope you got some useful vocabulary to use when talking about your home in English!