In your IELTS Speaking test, one possible part-one question is, “What type of house do you live in?”
Read on to learn how to answer this question well, including 10 great example answers (go straight to the answers here).
Different Types of Homes
First, you should know the different types of houses in English. You probably live in either a house or an apartment, which both have different types.
Types of Houses
A house is an entire building fully owned by the landlord or the person living there. Houses usually have two or more floors. Here are the most common types of houses:
This is when the house stands on its own and isn’t touching any other houses or buildings. This type of house is most common in suburban or rural areas with plenty of space.
Townhouse (or Terraced House)
This is when the house shares two walls with other townhouses on either side. Townhouses are usually two or three or more floors tall and quite narrow. They are very common in crowded urban areas, especially in European cities.
This is when only two houses are connected together, so your house shares one wall with the neighboring house. Semi-detached houses are quite common in suburban areas in the UK.
Other Types Of Houses
There are many other, less common, types of houses, such as cottages, farmhouses, bungalows, and mansions. You can see a big list of them here.
Types of Apartments
An apartment is one of many homes in a shared building. Each apartment usually has all the rooms on one floor. Apartments are most common in crowded urban areas.
In British English, we usually call it a flat (because it’s a flat home all on one floor). Here are the different types of apartments:
Apartment (or Flat)
This is the usual name for all kinds of apartments (or flats). But the proper meaning of ‘apartment’ is when a single landlord owns the whole building and rents out each apartment separately.
Condominium (or Condo)
A condominium is a home in a shared building, like an apartment, but each condo is owned privately by a different person.
If you live in a condo and you describe it as an apartment or flat, that’s fine. Most people don’t care about the difference in normal conversation.
This is the smallest type of apartment, where everything is in one big room (except the bathroom). So a studio is open-plan with no walls separating the kitchen, living room, and bedroom.
This is an apartment with only one bedroom.
Other Types of Apartments
You can see a few more, less common types of apartments here.
What You Can Say
For a Part 1 question like this, you should say more than just a few words. When you talk about the type of house you live in, you could then say:
- What type of house that is (describe it)
- How large it is (in square feet or square meters)
- How many rooms it has
- If it has any interesting features (open-plan areas, garden, balcony, cellar, attic, nice view…)
- What you like about living in that kind of house
- Any different type of home you’ve lived in before
- What kind of house you would like to live in
- If you own or rent your home
- Anything else that comes to mind
Let’s look at 10 good example answers, which should give you ideas for your own answer.
1. I live in a large detached house in a rural area near Berlin. It’s my parent’s home, and I like it because it’s very spacious, and it has such a big, beautiful garden.
2. I’m currently living in a small apartment close to the center of Toyko. It’s tiny and cramped, but I live alone so it’s enough for me. And the location is great.
3. I live in a semi-detached house, which is a house connected to only one other house. We’re lucky because our neighbor is very quiet, courteous, and friendly.
4. I live in a pretty large, two-bedroom flat. It’s 90 square feet, with a large open-plan kitchen and living room area, which I love.
5. I’m living in a terraced house in North London at the moment. It’s a very tall Victoria house with four floors including the cellar. It’s very elegant and old.
6. I share a cozy little studio apartment with my boyfriend. It’s small but nicely decorated and quite airy and sunny when the windows are open. We have a lovely view of the city as well.
7. I own a condo in Hanoi. I’ve been living there for six years now and I’m thinking of selling it so I can buy a larger condo closer to my work.
8. I live in a one-bedroom flat in a small town near Bangkok. It’s only 70 square feet, but the location is wonderful, right next to the sea with a view of the water.
9. I live in a mansion on the outskirts of Cebu City. It’s very peaceful, without any other homes too close. I like living there very much.
10. I’ve lived all my life in a farmhouse in rural China. My parents are farmers and I’m planning to take over the farm when they retire.
Now It’s Your Turn To Try
Set up the recorder on your phone and ask yourself, “What type of house do you live in?”
Answer as quickly as you can. Try not to hesitate.
When you’ve finished, listen to your answer and see if you’ve made any mistakes.
Then answer it again!
Keep repeating this process. It’s a fantastic way to prepare for part one of your IELTS Speaking test.