House & Home
Our feet may leave, but not our hearts
Vocabulary in Use (Upper Intermediate)
40 At Home
41 Everyday Problems
Vocabulary in Use (Advanced)
23 Homestyles, Lifestyles
35 Buildings in Metaphors
Why do we use the passive voice?
Yesterday Yesterday at
Now (3 p.m.) Tomorrow at
hang door mend roof paint door carpet dining-
decorate hall paint windows
mend gate paint gate rewire house paper lounge
Using the information in the chart, answer the questions
below. Do not use expressions of time in your answers.
You are going to hear two people
talking about the language used by
estate agents. Listen and find out
how a more poetic approach can
appeal to not only the pockets and
minds of people hoping to buy a
new house or flat, but also to their
The Language of the Estate Agent.
This section is a slightly tongue in cheek guide to the
language of the Estate Agent. Recent changes to the law
have reigned in their imagination somewhat but
inventiveness of description or their use of poetic licence
is still their trademark.
What the estate agent says What the estate agent means
Convenient for the station The railway runs along the back garden and it is
almost impossible to sleep at night. (Ideal
location for newly-weds).
Scope for improvement The place is falling apart.
Compact Rooms are an ideal size for the family pet, i.e. guinea-
pig or hamster, but nothing larger.
Well established area Either: in the oldest, most run down part of
town, known in the trade as Shitsville;
Or: in a boring, featureless, two-year-old
housing estate in which at least 3 houses have
planted a couple of dying shrubs in their front
Far reaching views to the rear. The wind screams across the back garden.
Greatly improved. A Do-It-Yourself nut has had free reign of the house
and totally messed it up.
Popular area. Half the houses in the street are for sale at any one
time or are regularly visited by burglars.
You can find more examples here.
When you choose a home to rent or buy, which of the following
points is or would be more important for you?
Imagine you have decided to go to study in Britain for two or three
years. What would you do about accommodation? Which of the
following would be the most important two considerations for you?
neighbours, and possibilities for social relations ease of cleaning and maintenance
location lack of noise
garden and views size and number of rooms
age and condition other: what?
distance from college cleanliness
Cleaning supplies, Household cleaning
Household problems and Repairs
Rooms in a House
Housing Vocabulary in American and
Identify the household
chores. Which are your
Home improvement disasters
Houses versus apartments essay
Do you like your city? Why? Why not? How
would you improve it? What city would you
like to live in?
What makes a good city? Use the prompts
below to think of six factors.
museums and art galleries
1. Which magazine named Melbourne as the best city in the world?
2. How many cities are rated for the Global Liveability Report?
3. How many points did Melbourne score?
4. Which city came out top in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey?
5. In The Economist’s other report, which city came out on top?
6. Which city is most popular with tourists?
BBC RADIO FOUR: LIVING IN THE CITY
IS COUNTRY LIFE BETTER THAN CITY LIFE?
THE DEBATE: YOU VOTE.
Questions to think about:
1) Advantages & disadvantages
to apartments and houses.
2) City versus country life.
3) Mortgage arrears and
Grammar to brush up on:
1) The passive voice
2) Advanced article usage
Language functions to check out:
1) Arguing and discussing
2) Illustrating and exemplifying
Films to watch:
1) House of Sand & Fog
2) 10 Short Films about
Housing in London
Books to Read:
1) A Week in December