The word "house" can be a noun or a verb, and it’s often used in forming compound words (two words joined together to form one word).


  • Valerie and Pat live in a three-bedroom house.
  • The house has two and a half bathrooms.*
  • The house sits on a quarter-acre lot.

When the word "house" is used as a verb, the sound of the "s" changes to a "z" sound: house. (s = /z/) To house means to provide a place to live.

  • The apartment building houses four families.
  • The prison houses over a thousand inmates.
  • The cage that houses the tigers needs to be cleaned today.

The word "housing" refers to the arrangements available for living in a place. This popular noun can describe a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a tent, etc.

  • Affordable housing is becoming an important issue in this area.
  • Subsidized housing is available through the government for people who need temporary help.
  • What are the housing choices like in the area where you live?
  • People needed safe housing following the earthquake.

You’ll often hear the word "house" in combination with other words to form compound words (two words joined together):

  • The housekeeper cleaned the house.
  • The housekeeping department of the hotel is hiring new workers.
  • People down the street are having a housewarming party. (a party for new occupants of a house or apartment)
  • There are seven people in their household. (the group of people who live in a place)
  • Christine doesn’t like to be called a housewife.
  • Houseplants provide fresh oxygen to your home.
  • Do you have your housekey?

*Note: When describing a house, it’s common to use the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the description. A full bathroom has a toilet, a sink, and a bathtub with a shower. A three-quarter bathroom has a toilet, a sink, and a shower; a half bathroom consists of a toilet and a sink.

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Published on January 8, 2014