Today’s English listening practice lesson is all about a typical English home. The lesson is an everyday conversation with English vocabulary and English listening practice in a discussion about the rooms and layout of a British home. With listeners from all around the world, living in many types of home, I suspect that there will be some new English vocabulary to learn.
If this is the first time you’ve experienced our English podcasts, welcome! If you want to know how to get the best out of the podcasts, we have a whole podcast on this here if you want to find out more about the Adept English approach to learning to speak English fluently, then we have a FREE English language course here
It’s a “Bank Holiday” here in the UK today. This holiday was originally a day off work for bank employees, so they could play and watch cricket matches. Later (a 100 years later) in 1971 the holiday became a day off for pretty much all UK workers. It’s easy to remember which day the holiday is, it’s always the last Monday in August. And today is the last Monday in August!
How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.
⭐ William C. Faulkner
So wherever you are, and regardless of if you are on holiday or not, there is no excuse not to find 10 minutes to listen to some English and practice your English comprehension skills. Remember, there is so much more going on in every one of our English lessons, and repeat listening to this lesson is the key to our system of learning.
Bedroomed Cloakroom Worktops Wellies
|In Your House||6|
|House Or Flat||5|
|The Utility Room||4|
|You May Also||4|
|May Also Have||4|
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. We help you with fluency in English, so that you can move towards fluent English conversation. With English language listening using Adept English, you can improve your English without going to a language school, without doing a language course. And you can do it in your spare time. How good is that? So use Adept English to learn English online.
Let’s work on some vocabulary today. One of the difficulties with English is the sheer number of words in the language – there are a lot! But we tend to help you focus on the more common words – the ones that are more useful to you. And it’s much more rewarding and will take your language learning further to focus on these words. You can continue to learn the uncommon words once you’re fluent.
Even I am learning new English words sometimes, so it’s an ongoing process! But Adept English helps you cover the vocabulary that you actually need in the most common situations. If you would like a podcast covering vocabulary for a particular topic, which you can see that we haven’t yet covered, do let us know. Get in touch with us by email or on Facebook and make your request!
So today, shall we cover some specific vocabulary? I’ll introduce you to some words, some of which may be new and some you’ll already know. But I’ll make sure that they’re in context, so that it’s easier to remember them. So let’s talk today about what the words are for…….the different rooms in your house or flat.
A word first of all about housing in the UK. There are some really lovely houses in the UK, but on the whole, housing is expensive and houses and flats can be really small compared to other countries, especially where they’re in cities. So I’m fully away that not everyone’s house contains all of these rooms. If you live in a flat in a city, you may well have only four rooms. But it’s the vocabulary that we all come across, so it’s good to use and it’s good to learn.
So the obvious rooms first of all – the rooms you probably already know the names of. What about the word ‘kitchen’, K-I-T-C-H-E-N? Well, this is the room in your house or flat where you do your cooking.
Kitchens can be large or very small, but they usually contain worktops or work surfaces, where you can prepare food, chop vegetables, mix ingredients for cooking. A kitchen will also contain a fridge, that’s F-R-I-D-GE – and it’s short for ‘refrigerator’. This is where you put your food that needs to be kept cold, around 4C.
In your kitchen, you’ll also have a hob, H-O-B. That’s the place where you heat up your pans – and an oven, O-V-E-N where you can bake things. An oven is where you put cakes or bread to bake. And in a kitchen there will also be cupboards and shelves for all of your cooking things, your plates, cups, glasses.
Often in a kitchen, there’s also a little place to sit and eat. There’s a lot of vocabulary associated with a kitchen, but let’s move onto the next room.
Another main room in a house is the lounge, L-O-U-N-G-E. This is the room where you’ll have sofas or chairs, a TV perhaps, where there may be a fireplace, book shelves, lamps, a coffee table to put your cup of coffee or your tea on.
This is the room, usually downstairs in a house, where you relax, read a book, watch television, listen to music. The lounge is the more common word, but you may also hear this room called ‘the sitting room’ – so the room where you sit, or ‘the living room’ – implying that this is where most of your life in the house happens.
If you find this way of talking about words, talking about English vocabulary in context is helpful to your language learning, then you could have a more structured approach in your learning by using one of our courses. Course One Activate your Listening does just this. It will help you with vocabulary, like I’m doing in this podcast, by presenting words in context, so that they’re easier to learn.
This course, Course One Activate Your Listening makes use also of ‘spaced repetition’ – so that’s the best technique to help you remember new words. And it also gives you practice at English conversation – so listening to two people talking, which can often be much faster and harder to follow, than listening to one person talk. You’ll find our course on the website at adeptenglish.com. You’ll be glad that you signed up for that one!
Back to ‘rooms in your house or flat’. Another word for a room that you’ll already know is the ‘bedroom’, B-E-D-R-O-O-M. This is where your bed is, where you sleep. And in a house where there are several bedrooms, you might hear the main, the largest bedroom called ‘the master bedroom’. I’m not sure why it’s ‘master’?
Why isn’t it called ‘the mistress bedroom’? That sounds a bit like something else – there’s a bit of sexist language for you! But anyway….the master bedroom is the biggest in the house – and if it’s a family, this is where the parents sleep.
Other bedrooms may be referred to as ‘the spare bedroom’ – so that’s the one that’s not used, or ‘the guest bedroom’ if you have a room specifically available for guests. In a 3 bedroomed or a 4 bedroomed house in the UK, there’s usually a room that is very small. And that might be called the ‘box room’ – the smallest bedroom. It may only be big enough to fit a single bed in, for one person.
A photograph of a typical bedroom. Used to describe the rooms in a British home.
And the fourth of the essential rooms, is of course ‘the bathroom’. So in most houses, the bathroom will indeed contain a bath, where you can sit in the water and wash – ‘have a soak’ as we sometimes say. But often in the bathroom there is also a shower, a sink, where you’d clean your teeth, a toilet - though sometimes this is in a separate room of its own.
So those are the four main, ‘essential’ rooms.
What you may also have in your house or flat, if it’s big enough are the following rooms. As well as your kitchen, you may have what’s known as a ‘utility room’ – that’s U-T-I-L-I-T-Y room. So the noun ‘utility’ literally means ‘use’ or ‘usefulness’. So a ‘utility room’ is where you put all those items which are very useful, but which perhaps aren’t as nice as the rest of your kitchen.
So in most ‘utility rooms’, you’ll find the washing machine, the tumble dryer – that’s the machine for drying wet clothes. You may also have a dishwasher. So these are noisy machines so they’re often sited in the utility room.
This room may also have another sink, so that if you want to clean your dirty trainers or your wellies, you don’t have to do this in the main sink in your kitchen, where you might wash food. The utility room is often where pet dogs or cats have their ‘headquarters’! Pet beds and food bowls, pet foods, pet grooming equipment may be kept in the utility room.
Another room you may find in a larger house or flat – an en suite bathroom. So ‘en suite’ E-N S-U-I-T-E is French meaning ‘following on’, or ‘connected’. So an en suite bathroom is a separate room which you can enter only from your bedroom. So it’s a little bathroom which goes with a particular bedroom – as opposed to a ‘main bathroom’ which is accessible from a hallway or landing.
The ‘landing’, L-A-N-D-I-N-G is the name given for the hallway at the top of the stairs – where all the bedroom doors lead from. You might also have downstairs what’s known as ‘a cloakroom’ or a ‘downstairs loo’. So this is the toilet on the ground floor. ‘Cloakroom’ because that’s ‘where you put your cloak’ of course! It may double as where you store coats for the outside perhaps.
In your house you may also have a dining room, which has an obvious use and probably contains a dining table and chairs. And often this is where your children might do their homework so it has other uses. And a dining room may only be used for special meals. In a really big house, especially an old house, you may have also what’s called ‘a breakfast room’. So yes a room intended for you to eat your breakfast in. So really it’s just a small additional dining room, but they tend to be closer to your kitchen. That’s a breakfast room.
A conservatory is a glass building, usually situated at the back of the house and overlooking the garden. This may just be another place to sit – or sometimes people make it their dining room or their home office. And sometimes people just grow plants in there! But the conservatory is a glass room.
Another room in the house, which has been important to people lately is the office or the home office. So sometimes this is a little room on the ground floor and sometimes people use the smallest bedroom as a home office.
This is where they do their work. So of course, this room has your desk, your computer, your printer and perhaps lots of other technology in there too. And sometimes people like to have a home office because that’s where they retreat to to play computer games! A very popular room in some people’s house.
So there we are – English conversation practice – words you would use in normal conversation in English with friends. There are other rooms perhaps in some houses, but those are the words, those are the names, the vocabulary we use for the main rooms – useful in conversation. With English transcript, as ever on our website at adeptenglish.com. Let us know whether this podcast was helpful and if you would like others like it on different topics.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.