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Points to Remember

Tenses: You can use various tenses. The choice depends on how the question is set. You can use Present tenses if, for example, you have been asked to describe a place for a tourist brochure. You can use Past tenses if you describe a visit to a place which happened some time ago. You can use conditionals if you describe your dream house, ideal city, etc.
Adjectives: Use a wide variety of factual adjectives (huge, enormous, etc.) and option adjectives (fabulous, charming, etc.). Try to avoid using only common ones such as good, nice, etc. This will make your composition more interesting and you will catch the reader’s attention.
Senses: Use your senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) when you describe a place or building to make you description more vivid (e.g. the sweet smell of cake in the baker’s).
Types of houses/places people live
Detached house: not joined to any other house
Semi-detached house (informal: semi-): joined to one other house                                            
Terraced house: joined to several houses to form a row
Cottage: small house in the country or in a village
Bungalow: house with only one storey (no upstairs)
Bedsit: bedroom and living room all in one
Villa: large house with big gardens or a rented house in a holiday resort/tourist area
Time-share: holiday flat or house where you have the right to live one or two weeks a year
Places in the home
Utility room: usually just for washing machine, freezer, etc.
Shed: small building separated from the house usually for storing garden tools
Attic: room in the roof space of a house (could be lived in)
Loft: space in the roof of a house usually used only for storage
Cellar: room below ground level, no windows, used for storage
Basement: room below ground level, windows, for living/working
Landing: flat area at the top of a staircase
Hall: open area as you come into a house
Porch: covered area before an entrance-door
Pantry or larder: large cupboard (usually big enough to walk into) for storing food
Terrace or patio: paved area between house and garden for sitting and eating, etc.

Idioms and metaphors relating to homes and lifestyles




A house word/ name

Something everyone knows

Nike has become a household name

A drink on the house

A free drink

The restaurant owner offered us a bottle of wine on the house

Home truths

Information that is true but not pleasant or welcome

It’s time he was told some home truths about the way he’s been behaving!

Nothing to write home about

Nothing special

The town is OK but nothing to write home about.

Hit home

Become fully understood or fully felt

The difficulty of managing without a regular salary is hitting home now.