Saturday, 10/14/2023

Buildings and Places: Key Vocabulary in English

Giving Directions. Innocenti / Cultura / Getty Images

The words below are the most important words used when talking about different places and areas such as shops, towns and the countryside. Buildings, shops, and communities are categorized with an example sentence provided for learning in context.

Buildings People Live In

  • apartment - I live in an apartment on 52nd Street.
  • apartment block - Tom has a place in that apartment block over there. 
  • block of flats (British English) - Three hundred people live in that block of flats.
  • bungalow - The bungalow in the forest is so nice for a weekend getaway.
  • cottage - He has a cute cottage by the sea. I'm jealous!
  • duplex (American English) - A duplex always contains two separate homes or apartments.
  • flat (British English) - Alice has a flat in the center of London.
  • floor on the ground / first / top floor - Jack lives on the first floor.
  • house - I'd love to own a house someday. 
  • story - ten / multi-story building - He lives in a fifty story building.

Other Buildings

  • bar (American English)- Let's go to the bar and get a drink.
  • car park - I'll leave my car in the car park and meet you at the office.
  • castle - The queen lives in a castle.
  • cathedral - The cathedral is always the most magnificent Catholic church in town.
  • church - There's a small church up on the hill. 
  • office - He works in that office over there. 
  • post office - Let's stop by the post office to send off these letters.
  • pub (British English) - Shall we get a pint at the pub?
  • restaurant - I'd like to go to an Italian restaurant tonight. 
  • skyscraper - That skyscraper is 110 stories tall!
  • station - Can you pick me up at the station?
  • bus station - I caught a Greyhound bus at the bus station.
  • fire station - What would we do without the fire station?
  • police station - The police station is located down this road. 
  • airport - I need to get to the airport by six o'clock. 

Stores and Shops

  • baker's - I'd like to go to the baker's to get a cake.
  • butcher's - Can you pick up a pound of hamburger from the butcher's?
  • department store - Some people like shopping in a department store because they can find everything in one place. 
  • dry cleaner's - I'll pick up my shirt at the dry cleaner's after work. 
  • fishmonger's - We bought three pounds of salmon from the fishmonger's. 
  • greengrocer's - The greengrocer's have some lovely celery at the moment. 
  • grocer's - She stopped by the grocer's to pick up some food. 
  • ironmonger's (British English) - I need to buy a hammer at the ironmonger's. 
  • hardware store (American English) - Do you think the hardware store sells lawn mowers?
  • shop - I'd like to stop at that shop on the corner.


  • city - He lives in a big city. 
  • capital city - Sharon lives in the capital city of Oregon. 
  • port - Leghorn is a port on the Tyrrhenian Sea. 
  • resort - My friend stayed at a resort on the beach. 
  • holiday resort - Families like to go to holiday resorts for vacations
  • seaside resort - You'll have a lot of fun at our seaside resort. 
  • ski resort - The weather was fantastic at the ski resort. It snowed every day!
  • town - I live in a small town near the border. 
  • village - There are many charming villages in France. 

Parts and Areas of Communities

  • area - That's a beautiful area.
  • country area - Their house is in a wooded country area. 
  • residential area - There are 200,000 people in this residential area.
  • rural area - Rural areas are hard to reach by bus.
  • urban area - The urban areas are where most jobs can be found. 
  • center - He lives in the center of the city.
  • city center - The city center is located just ten miles from here.
  • town center - The town center has many lovely monuments. 
  • district - The working district houses many firms. 
  • outskirts - Our shop is located on the outskirts of Seattle. 
  • region - The Pacific Northwest region is very hip. 
  • suburb - Many people live in the suburbs, but would like to move to the city. 

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