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Your English: Word grammar: home

Type: Article

Tim Bowen proves that Your English is the home of the most informative articles on word grammar.

The word home is normally used as a noun but can also function as an adverb or a verb and is also used in several noun phrases.

Apart from its usual meanings as the place where you live, a building to buy or rent and the place where a sports team is based, home can also be used to indicate the place where something first started as in ‘Hastings – the home of television’ or ‘Bexhill – the home of motor racing’.

As a verb, home is used in the phrasal verb home in on and means to aim at something and move quickly and directly to it, as in ‘City are homing in on their first league title for more than 40 years’ or ‘A large wasp was homing in on her arm’.

There are many noun phrases that include the word home, including home page, home movie and home town. In the UK, the term home counties refers to the typical middle-class suburbs around London and the Home Office is the equivalent of the Ministry of the Interior in other countries. Home truths are unpleasant facts or opinions about you that someone tells you, as in ‘I think you need to know a few home truths’. The home straight is the last part of a race but can also be applied to the last part of an activity or process, as in ‘It’s been a long job but we’re finally on the home straight’.

The adverbial expression home and dry is used to mean that you have achieved a victory or a success or you are certain to achieve it, as in ‘I think we’re home and dry. We’ve got the contract!’

The phrase home comforts is used to refer to things that make you feel comfortable when you are away from your home , (as if  you were back at home), as in, ’Sally knew her friends’ stay in hospital would be a long one, so she brought her in a few home comforts to cheer her up.’

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