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Thursday, 23 December  2004   What's your house like?

Today on English Bites we're asking people about their houses. Are they big or small? How do you describe the place where you live?



ALEX: A four room, four-bedroom house. It's got a Mediterranean feel, it's kind of got calm, warm colours. It's pretty spacious and it's got a pretty backyard. It's got a two-car garage. A pretty standard house and a lot of the houses on the street all look the same.

I think it was designed by the same architect.

SAM: It's a red brick house, a two-storey red brick house that has a garage and my parent's family room, a family room, my room and my brother's room. And we have a pool, a swimming pool outside and a small garden.

SARAH: It's a semi-detached townhouse, so it's got two bedrooms upstairs and also a study and downstairs I've got the lounge room and the kitchen and a sort of built on dining room onto that. So it's not very big but it's enough.

JUSTIN: It's an old house, probably 100 years old, and it's got lots of rose bushes and a big back yard with a shed and some fruit trees.
It's got very high ceilings and wooden floorboards. There's about five bedrooms and a big kitchen and a big lounge room.

MELITA: It's a red brick house, it's got a quite a big front yard, quite a big backyard, has three bedrooms, one bathroom and it's got a top storey as well.

SUSAN: My house is a small white house with a big garden and lots of windows, and lots of doors I guess. It has a big garden.

multiple choice quiz

story notes

four-bedroom house
Rather than saying 'My house has four bedrooms', people often say 'I have a four-bedroom house'.

This is a common construction in English.
I have a six-seater car.
I have a two-storey house.



pretty spacious
When pretty comes before an adjective, such as spacious it means quite, or fairly.

Spacious means having a lot of space. So his house has quite a lot of space or is fairly large.
That's pretty good.


pretty backyard
When pretty comes before a noun it means attractive or nice to look at
She's a pretty girl.

A backyard is the outside area or garden out the back of a house.


two-car garage
Rather than saying 'My house has a garage for two cars', people say 'I have a two-car garage'.


two-storey
A storey is a level or a floor.

A two-storey house is house with an upstairs and a downstairs.


red brick house
Lots of Australian houses are made of red brick.
Red Brick House

Another common colour is cream brick – here’s a two-storey cream brick house as well.
Cream Brick House


semi-detached townhouse
A townhouse is a house that is part of a block of houses.

Townhouses are usually two-storey, and smaller than a normal house.

A semidetached townhouse is a townhouse that is joined to another house by just one wall. It’s only joined to one other house.



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spotlight

describing houses

Notice that the people interviewed describe the outside of the house. What it’s made of, how big it is, what colour it is and whether it’s got a garden.
It’s an old house, probably 100 years old, and it’s got lots of rose bushes and a big back yard with a shed and some fruit trees.



It’s a two storey red brick house that has a garage and my parent’s room, a family room, my room and my brother’s room. And we have a swimming pool outside and a small garden.



They use lots of adjectives.

My house is a small white house with a big garden and lots of windows, and lots of doors I guess.

So even using simple adjectives, you can build quite a good description of a house.



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