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  1. Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Malagasy
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      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 197

    at home or in the home


    Is there any difference between the three phrases with 'home'?

    1. I stayed at home last night.
    2. I stayed in the home last night.
    3. I stayed (at/)in the house last night.


  2. Member
    English Teacher
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      • English
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      • Canada
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      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 128

    Re: at home or in the home

    The are often, but not always, differences in meaning between "house"
    and "home."

    A house is a physical structure. It a builing in which one lives, works,
    or carries on other daily activities.

    Home is often used as a synonym for house but it can have a much broader meaning. as well.

    Home can simply mean the place where I eat, sleep and share with the rest of my family or friends be it a tent, a boat or even just a space on a city street or in park.

    Grammatically 'home' and house' are treated a little differently:

    I can go to my home' but usually I will just 'go home.'
    I can go to my house but I cannot 'go house.'

    In your examples:

    If I stayed at home I mean that I stayed at my home.

    If I stayed in the home it must mean I stayed at someone else's house.
    (This sentence doesn't sound very natural however.)

    If I stayed 'at' or 'in' the house it would mean someone else's house.
    If you mean your own house you would say
    I stayed at (or in) my house last night.

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