Useful Vocabulary

Where We Live
detached house(s)
semi-detached house(s)
terraced house(s)
cottage(s) detached house(s) semi-detached house(s) bungalow(s) terraced house(s)
(block of) flat(s)

high-rise flat(s)
block of flats high-rise flat(s)
!Note - no matter what kind of building you live in, it's your home.
Where We Work


office(s) factory (factories) skyscraper(s)
Miscellaneous Places


tower(s) mill(s) windmill(s) castle(s)


Build Up

Special Buildings
airport(s) Airport
art gallery (galleries) Art Gallery
bank(s) Bank
bus station(s) Bus Station
church(es) Church
cinema(s) Cinema
fire station(s) Fire Station
garage(s)garage(s) / petrol station(s) Garage
hospital(s) Hospital
hotel(s) Hotel
mosque Mosque
museum(s) Museum
police station(s) Police Station
railway station(s) Railway Station
restaurant(s) Restaurant
school(s) School
synagogue Synagogue
theatre(s) Theatre
Anatomy of a house

Naturally Speaking

Talking to a builder / developer.
Can you provide references and examples of your previous work? (Here references are comments on the abilities and character of a candidate organisation for a position or job.)

Are you able to provide a bank reference? (Here a bank reference is a statement regarding the financial standing of an individual or organisation.)

Will you provide a list of all the materials you'll use and provide samples? (Here a sample is an amount of something that shows you what the rest is or should be like.)

Do you use sub contractors? (A subcontractor is a person or organization that performs work for the main contractor, but is not on their payroll and does not receive company benefits.)
What warranty do you offer, and what is the time period of this warranty? (A warranty is a written guarantee of the integrity of a product and of the maker's responsibility for the repair or replacement of defective parts. In the UK the NHBC is the UK's leading warranty provider for new homes. 'Buildmark' is the name of their 10-year warranty.)
We will be using a snagging company. Is this ok? (Here snagging means to write a list of defects at the end of a build process/phase/stage (a "Snag List" or "Snagging List"). A snagging company goes through a house to find faults and ensures the developer puts them right within a reasonable time.)


Here is a conversation between Mrs Smith (Joan) and her husband Steve.
It's Saturday morning and something is happening next door.

Joan: Steve, what's all that noise outside?
Steve: Just a minute, I'll have a look. ....... Oh! It looks as if the new next door neighbours are moving in.
Joan: Oh, it's a bit early, isn't it? Ah well I guess we'd better get up.
Steve: It's amazing how quickly the houses are selling round here, the Browns only put it on the market a month ago.
Joan: Where did they move to?
Steve: I think he told me they were buying a detached house in Surbiton.
Joan: Sounds nice. I hope the new neighbours are nice.
Steve: Well, I was speaking with Mr Brown last week. He told me they were a young couple with two daughters. They liked the house because it is near a good school.
Joan: Two daughters! That will please John.
Steve: Ha! Maybe we'd better pop next door and say hello.
Joan: Yes, and maybe we'd better start thinking of selling too. I'd like a detached house in Surbiton as well!
Steve: Hmm.

Improve Your English Vocabulary

Use self-study vocabulary books, these should include a good dictionary, and a thesaurus.
Expose yourself to as much English as possible by reading, watching the TV, films or the news and listening to the radio or music.
Read an English magazine. If you can afford it take out a subscription to a magazine or newspaper.
Do online exercises. Keep a note of how you did and go back in a few weeks / months to see how you have improved.
Use stick it notes and label things around your home.
Try to memorize whole sentences, not just individual words.
Create or play word games. Scrabble, Crossword Puzzles, Hangman, and Dingthings are all great ways to play with words.


Keep a notebook to help you remember what you've learnt.
Here's a guide to keeping an English notebook.

Vocabulary webs

Build a vocabulary web to organise your vocabulary about certain subjects.
For example your personal life:-
vocabulary web
and then extend it:-
vocabulary web
and then extend it further...
Try this little gadget too.

Flash cards

Start a flash cards box.
Buy or cut out some cards all the same size.
Draw or cut out some pictures.
Paste the pictures onto one side of the card and write the correct word on the other side.
Put new words in the front of the box.
Test yourself using either the pictures, the words or both.
If you have forgotten a word bring it to the front of the box.
!On this site:- Use the vocabulary pages to learn new vocabulary thematically and in context.
!On this site:- You can use my on-line flash cards to practise your vocabulary.


Try learning the words to English songs, and even sing along with them. With friends or in the privacy of your own bathroom.
!On this site:- You can find some karaoke resources and ideas on the learn English through songs page.
!On the Network: You can find the words to some popular songs on the English magazine.