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In many cases, people tend to use the word home and house interchangeably. Even though the differences between home and house are not much, they do not mean the same thing.

It is common knowledge that some words in the English language mean the same thing or are synonymous. For example, the words house and home connote an area where people live.

However, the main objective of this article is to reiterate the proper use of these terms in diverse situations. Eventually, you will be able to explicitly tell the difference between a home and a house.

What Is A House?

A house is a building that covers or encloses a person and their family. It is usually confused with home, another word that most people interchangeably use house for. However, the word house is simply the structure and not the state of the environment and its occupants.

Although a house may also provide some security over one's personal belongings, it doesn't offer the comfort one enjoys in a home. Some may argue that it can serve as an area where one can rest and live, but in reality, it is just a temporary structure.

The origin of the word house can be traced back in history to the English word hus, which refers to shelter. This word was also derived from the proto-germanic word human and also has a linkage to the root term hide.

What Is A Home?

A home can simply be referred to as a dwelling place or residence. Somewhere one can unwind and recuperate after a very stressful day at work. It is a place or a serene environment where people (family in this case) can relax, enjoy the comfort and have peace of mind. It is a reserved and much-secured abode for one's most valuable belongings.

A place where no one can get access to our properties without our knowledge or permission—a place where one can do any and all things without the fear of being judged by anyone.

Home can also mean a place of birth or anywhere one grows up. A place full of good memories of the past, including the painful or ugly experiences one had to go through during childhood.

The word home was derived from the English word ham, which refers to a dwelling place or simply an estate. This word originated from proto-germanic roots Heim and hazmat, where both words mean home.

Major Distinctions Between Home And House


The difference between a home and a house is not significant if we are to look at it factually. However, the difference is massive if we are to view it from a philosophical perspective.

Often, people talk about turning their house into a home. They simply refer to changing the physical area to a space where they and their family can feel ease, warmth, security, and joy. This feeling fills the building with emotions, gives it meaning, and makes it worth staying in.


Where you can simply refer to a house as just a place built for people to occupy, a home holds more affection. It can be referred to as a family space where people bond and share love. The word home is not just a structure but also connotes a sense of belonging.

Abstract nature

A home can also mean something abstract, someplace you have only in your heart. When people talk about going home sometimes, it is not necessarily a physical place. It could mean a place where you feel safe, loved, and entirely accepted. A place that is endearing and one holds with high esteem; a special place.


A physical structure that is enclosed and where you can store things can be referred to as a house, but a place can never be called home if humans don't dwell in it. It has more to do with emotions than physicality.

A house is a location where people can decide to stay or not, e.g., a storehouse where things are kept, but a home cannot be called a home if a household member does not stay there.

Usage of terms

Why do people say things like "feel at home" and not "feel at house"? This is simply because the only place attached to feelings is a home, not a house. Why are people without a residence called homeless and not houseless?

This reason can be mainly attributed to the fact that they often do not have a family and hence, cannot call a place home. This further emphasises the point of a home being a residential area for a family.

How To Turn Your House Into A Home

A house is simply an area where one lives, resides, or is a place of relaxation. To turn a house into a home, you must first make it your safe haven and gradually turn it into a place where your overall presence is felt. This old saying goes, "home is where the heart is."

So, to make a place a home, it should be a place where you can invest your emotions, a place where you can create memories, or a place where you can be free and be yourself without being bothered about people's opinions. This can be achieved when you fill the house with thoughts, values, personal belongings, and, of course, fond memories.

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