Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

House or home?

from English Grammar Today

We use the noun house to refer to a building:

They’re building six new houses at the end of our road.

When we refer to being at someone’s house, we can leave out the word house and use at + possessive or at + the definite article + possessive:

We stayed overnight at Mike’s. (at Mike’s house)

We’re going to be at the Jacksons’ this evening. Want to come with us? (at the Jacksons’ house)

We use home in a more personal and emotional way to refer to where someone lives. The noun home does not usually refer to the building. We often use home with the preposition at:

It’s not very big but it’s my home.

Why don’t you phone her now? I think she’s at home.

When we talk about the building we live in, we use house not home:

Our dog stays in the house with us.

Not: Our dog stays in the home with us.

Warning:

We usually don’t use an article or other determiner with home unless we are talking about homes in general:

A lot of energy can be saved in the home by making small changes such as turning off lights. (energy can be saved in all homes)

We use home as an adverb with verbs of movement such as get, go, come, arrive, travel, drive. We don’t use to:

I’m going home now. I’m really tired.

Not: I’m going to home now.

Would you like me to drive you home?

Not: Would you like me to drive you to home?

Home can be used as a countable noun to refer to the place where people or animals live and are cared for by people who are not their relatives or owners:

There’s a home for the elderly at the end of our street.

We got our dog, Scotty, from the local dogs’ home.

(“House or home ?” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More