‘Home’ Is Not Like Other Nouns

Introduction

“Home” is a peculiar noun. It doesn’t quite behave like other nouns. It has its own rules of usage. You need to be comfortable using this word.

Peculiarities: (strange behaviors)

  1. We don’t say “to home” unless we use a specifier: to my home, to his home
    (i.e., never just “to home”).
  2. We don’t say “in home” unless we use a specifier: in my home, in their home
    (i.e., never just “in home”)
    (but “in-home” may be used as a compound adjective, as in “in-home nursing care”.)

Typical uses of the noun “home”

  1. I am at home right now.
  2. You are not at home, so please come home now.
  3. It is late. I have to go home.
  4. Yesterday I left home to go to the doctor (i.e., to the doctor’s office).
  5. After my doctor appointment, I returned home(or I came back home).
  6. You are welcome to visit my home if you should ever visit Florida.
  7. Vampires need you to invite them into your home before they can enter.
  8. I hope your kids don’t run away from home. (abandon you to live elsewhere)
  9. Please stay home and babysit the kids. I will be back soon.
  10. Do your children live at home(or do they live away from home in a college dormitory)?
  11. My parents will be worried. I’d better call home (via phone) and tell them I’m okay.
  12. He went home yesterday. (by any means)
  13. I drove home this morning. (by car)
  14. He flew home yesterday. (by plane)
  15. Can you drive me home? I’ve had too much to drink. (give me a ride home)
  16. Can you take me home? (same meaning as #15)

Idioms or sayings:

  • There’s no place like home.
    (Home is the greatest place on Earth!)
  • Mi casa es su casa.
    (Spanish for “My house is your house.” Same as next bullet.)
  • Please make yourself at home. (Or please feel right at home.)
    (Relax in my home just as you would in your own home. => Take your shoes off, lie down on the couch, watch TV, get some food from the fridge, etc.)
  • Where do you call home?
    (What city (or state or country) do you consider to be your home?)
  • Home is where the heart is.
    (For people that move around a lot. Where do you call home?
    Home is where the heart is. Wherever I am, that’s where I call home.)
  • A man’s home is his castle.
    (Inside your own home, you are king. No one should be able to harm you or to tell you what to do.)
  • “E.T. phone home.”
    (Famous line from a movie. E.T. was an alien from another planet. He was stranded (trapped, marooned) on Earth and was trying to return home (go back to his home planet). He knew very little English. This expression means “E.T. needs to call home so his parents can come rescue him and take him home.)

Self-Assessment

  1. He needs to ___________ (go back to his home).
  2. He is __________. (returning to his home)
  3. I can’t leave right now. I need to _________ to watch the kids. (not leave home)
  4. Mi casa es _______. (Spanish saying)
  5. Welcome to my home. Please ____________. (treat my home as your home)
  6. There has been an accident. You need to ________ now. (travel to your home)
  7. There has been an accident. You need to ________ now. (call home via phone)
  8. Teacher Lee has traveled to many states and a few countries, but Florida is where he ________. (considers to be his “home”)
  9. Home is the best place in the world! There’s ___________.
  10. He is a drifter. He just travels from town to town. He seems to have ________. (to be homeless) (Take a guess!)
  11. A runaway is an under-age (younger than 18) kid who has run __________. (left home forever without telling his parents)
  12. Can you __________? (give me a ride to my home; girlfriend to her boyfriend)

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