I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.
Are you ready to expand your vocabulary?
Let's get started.
Do you want to improve your vocabulary?
Do you want to have fun?
Do you want to see my house?
If you answered yes, yes, and yes, then today you're in luck because I want to help you
understand and use over 40 essential household words, expressions, and phrasal verbs.
We're gonna go around to each of the rooms in my house and I'm gonna show you wants there
and maybe what's not there but what maybe is typically there in other American households
so that you can use those words.
Because in a video that I recently made called How To Learn English At Home, I mentioned
that you can look around you and ask questions about your surroundings.
What's in that box?
Who is that?"
Well, the way that you can do this is if you have the vocabulary to explain those things.
So I hope that today you'll be able to expand your vocabulary even if you are an advanced
English speaker, I'm sure that you're going to use some useful expressions and you'll
realize this is what native speakers really use in real life instead of what they use
So I challenge you, after this lesson, try to go around your house and name things.
You could even write down a label and put it around if your family members don't mind.
This is a great way to expand your vocabulary.
So pay attention, make some notes, and let's get started.
Welcome to my kitchen.
I'm gonna just go around the room, and in fact, I'm gonna go around the kitchen, the
living room, the office, the bathroom, and the bedroom.
And we're gonna go step-by-step through the different things that I see.
I'm gonna name them.
If they need any explanation, I'll try to explain them.
And I hope that it will be helpful to you as you expand your vocabulary.
Let's start with the fridge.
Here's the fridge, or you can say refrigerator if you want to be extra intense.
But we often just say fridge, pretty simple.
On the top, you have the freezer.
And my freezer's on top, sometimes freezers are on the bottom, or sometimes it's split
down the middle and there's a freezer on one side and a refrigerator, or fridge, on the
Mine's just on the bottom.
You can see I have a lot of magnets and pictures on my fridge.
It's pretty typically.
I have some magnets that some YouTube subscribers sent me, some pictures, some magnets that
we've picked up as we've traveled.
But this is pretty typical that you'll see, some personal mementos on the fridge.
Here, we have our dining room table.
In the U.S., typically people will have a dining room or maybe their kitchen will be
a little bit bigger than mine because we live in an apartment.
It's from the 1920s, so actually my apartment and my house is quite different than what
you would typically see if you visited someone's house in the U.S. but a lot of the items are
So if there's any differences from typical houses in the U.S., I'll try to explain that
to you as well.
But here, we have the table.
I bet you learned that in your, maybe, first class in English class.
We have chairs, we usually call these kitchen chairs or if you have a separate dining room,
you can call them dining room chairs.
Because we have a one-year-old, you're gonna see a lot of different items around our house
that are for our one-year-old.
So here, we have his highchair.
His high chair attaches to the kitchen chair so it's a little bit different than a standalone
highchair, that would be just a separate chair.
But we don't have much room in our kitchen, so we have a portable highchair that attaches
to a chair.
Next, let's move on to this table which is where we cut things and prepare our food.
Here, you can see a fruit tray, you might call it different things depending on what
region of the U.S. you're from.
At the moment, we only have two tangerines on the fruit tray.
Typically, we have more.
But we also have a coaster.
This is where you put your cups or your mugs, usually hot or cold things to keep the table
We also have a coffee grinder for grinding beans.
And a sippy cup for our baby.
And let's move along over here.
On this side, we have our cheese grater.
This is with a T, even though it sounds like a D. Grater, it's a cheese grater.
We have some measuring cups in the U.S., we use cups and tablespoons, and teaspoons to
A lot of people have these in plastic, but ours are cute little cats.
And here, we have some condiments that we often use when we're cooking, so we have them
close by and handy.
Oh, we just have honey, some balsamic, some chopsticks, some salt, some olive oil, and
of course, you can see my plants, which are not doing too well.
I don't have a green thumb, as they say.
Our plants often die.
So they don't have a good future looking ahead of them.
This is our oven where we cook and bake things.
Typically, we call the top the stove top or the stove.
And there's four burners on this stove top.
And we have some knobs for turning on the stove.
Inside is the oven.
Often, I'll just say the oven to mean the full stove, or this full device.
But you can kind of use them interchangeably.
Some people are sticklers about that kind of thing.
Sticklers means picky, picky about those kind of terms.
But, we often say oven, stove for this general device.
But technically, the top is the stove and inside is the oven.
I have some pots and pans here.
There's more under the counter.
Here, I have my glass lid because inside I'm making some butternut squash for lunch a little
And my cutting board, I have a couple other cutting boards, but this one is my favorite,
so it stays close by and handy.
On this side of the kitchen are the oven mitts and our spice rack.
Typically, people will say spice rack or spice cabinet is their inside a cabinet.
We have, technically, it's a shelf, but we call it the spice rack because all of the
spices are there.
I also have some tea and some cookbooks and some miscellaneous things on that shelf as
So this is something that's pretty different from typical houses in the U.S., we have a
sink, most places have a sink with a facet, we have the strainer, or colander, usually
a strainer for straining pasta or other things that we're washing.
But, we didn't have a dishwasher until about one month ago and it's because this is an
old apartment, as I mentioned it's from the 1920s, so there's not air conditioning, not
regular heating, no dishwasher, no washer or dryer for our clothes.
But we decided to buy a, you can see here, table top dishwasher.
This is not typical in houses in the U.S., but it's the same idea.
Typically, they're under the counter and it's kind of part of the furniture.
But you can open the dishwasher and see the dish rack.
Here, we have some clean dishes and apparently toys that needed to be cleaned too.
So we have the dosh rack and you put your dishes in the dish rack.
And up here, I have a small dish rack just for more fragile things like these mugs or
But you can hand dry things and put them in the rack as well.
So, that's just depending on what you have in your house.
If you have a dishwasher, or if you need to hand wash things and then put them in the
drying rack or in the rack.
Above the dishwasher, we have a cabinet where we keep put dry goods.
So you can see we have some spices, some popcorn, things for baking, there's some pasta, some
kind of leftover, dry goods that we put in there to keep.
A lot of people will have what you call a pantry.
And a pantry is kind of like a closet where you keep dry goods, but our apartment is pretty
small, it's old, we don't have a pantry.
So, we just have a cabinet.
Beside the dishwasher, we have a toaster oven.
And a lot of people will also have a microwave.
In fact, I'd say 99% of Americans have a microwave.
We just don't have it because we don't have a lot of space, this is an old apartment,
like I mentioned.
So there's a couple key elements.
There's one more key element that you'll not see in our house that I'll mention a little
But, we have a toaster oven, a lot of people will have a regular toaster and it will just
So, we call this the toaster because it's the only one we have.
But if you have a toaster with slots and a toaster oven, you probably need to be a little
more specific and just say, "Put it in the toaster oven," or, "I put it in the toaster
oven," just so people know which one it's in.
We have a paper towel rack, this is the paper towel rack, the metal piece.
And here are some paper towels for cleaning up things.
And we also have a water kettle, a hot water kettle for heating up water.
So this is kind of like our little drink station.
I have tea things, Dan has some coffee things, we have some dish washing soap.
This is where all of those kind of extra kitchen things happen.
And finally, it's a little bit awkward for me to show you with the camera because it's
a little bit high up so I have to hold the camera myself, but here we have our dishes.
So we have big plates, little plates, you might come across some specific words for
different sizes of plates.
But in reality, we just say big plates, little plates.
We have some wine glasses, some regular glasses, tall glasses, short glasses, and bowls.
A lot of people have different sizes of bowls or different functions for different bowls.
But, we keep it simple, bowls.
Up on top, as well, we have some mugs you can see.
We have a lot of mugs because I feel like choosing the right mug for that moment is
an important part of drinking a hot drink.
I have to have the right mug.
Do I want the mug with birds on it?
Do I want the mug with a rainbow on it?
It just depends.
And it kind of lends the experience, a richer feeling, I don't know if you feel the same
way about the mug that you drink your coffee or your tea out of, but I feel like the mug
is important to me.
All right, let's go to the next room.
When you first come into our house we have a shoe rack where we line up our shoes.
And this is typical in some American houses, but in a lot of American houses, people keep
their shoes on.
For us, we lived in Korea for a couple years, so we got used to taking off our shoes.
And we have a sign on the door that says, "Please take off your shoes, we will appreciate
But, a lot of our friends have never actually looked at the sign.
And we don't tell them, "Hey, take off your shoes."
We're pretty relaxed when it comes to guests.
But for ourselves, we always take off our shoes.
If we need to run into the house for something quickly, then it's not a big deal.
But, we have a shoe rack so that we can easily take off our shoes and put them away when
we come in our house.
Welcome to our living room.
There is one thing I'm gonna mention about our living room, maybe a couple things, but
specifically one thing that you're not gonna see in our living room that's pretty typical,
and that's just a TV.
You could say television, but we often just say TV.
Why don't we have a TV?
Well, it was a conscious decision to not have a TV.
First of all, because I'm not a big fan of different TV shows and it's just not that
enjoyable for me.
But also, I feel like I don't wanna just have it on and always be watching.
Anyway, we can talk about that another time.
But, I want to let you know that it's pretty typical to see a TV in American households
in their living room of you could say family room.
Some people say main room, some people say den, kind of like a lion's den.
This is like a cave, but people say den.
I don't know if that's a southern word, but some of my friends in the south say that.
But we call this just the living room or the main room.
And that's where we spend a lot of our time.
On this side of the living room, we have a piano, some shelves for displaying different
You might hear this called knick-knacks.
And that means sometimes sentimental things, sometimes just junk, but for us, we just try
to keep only things that matter to us.
So we have some sentimental items on our shelves.
And on the piano there's some picture frames and another coaster.
You might see as well that we have a lot of baby gates everywhere in our living room,
it blocks off the full living room.
And that's because we have a one-year-old, so it keeps him safe, it keeps us sane, and
maybe for you, if you have a baby you also have some baby gates.
I highly doubt that you have a tent in your living room, but if you have a baby, if you
have a kid that likes to play, maybe you have a tent.
So we just have this tent with all of our baby's toys inside and he goes in there and
plays and we play with him in there.
And it's just part of our living space.
Now, let's go onto our bookshelf.
Our bookshelf is one of the main items, main pieces of furniture in our living room.
We have the bookshelf, the couch, and the piano.
Those are kind of the centerpieces of this room.
So on our bookshelf, of course, we have books.
They are somewhat organized by topic, not so much right now because I just tried to
organize them there myself.
But, on the bookshelf, we have some speakers, we have some other miscellaneous things up
here like our pumpkins that are kind of rotting and we need to get rid of them.
On the bottom, we have some toys for our baby.
So, the first two shelves are baby things.
And then these shelves, that he can't reach, those are for us.
So, we can say this a bookshelf and these are shelves.
This is where we lounge.
This is the couch, and we call this a coffee table even though we don't typically have
coffee on it.
But it usually just means that kind of smallish table that's in the middle of your living
room or close to the couch.
You might be surprised that sometimes Americans put their feet on this, I don't know if you
do this, but I know in some cultures it's seen as extremely gross.
But, you just prop your feet up on the coffee able and kick back and relax.
But, beside the coffee table, or behind the coffee table, you can see we have a side table.
I know this expression is really simple and it's kind of obvious.
But if you wanted to know which table, you could just say the side table, or the table
beside the couch.
And on the side table there's a lamp that we use to light our reading in the evening.
On this side of our living room, we call this just our Ikea chair because it came from Ikea,
but you might see people who have comfortable chairs like this in their living room.
You might see them calling them an easy chair.
Usually an easy chair is a little bit bigger than this, a little bit more comfortable.
Or you might hear them call it a La-Z-Boy.
They're not talking about how you're not studying and you're not working hard.
"I'm sitting on the lazy boy," no.
It just means that when you sit on it, you feel lazy, you feel comfortable.
So a La-Z-Boy has a foot prop that comes up so you can completely relax and lay back.
But for us, we just call this our Ikea chair, it kind of bounces a little bit.
It's not a rocking chair, it doesn't completely go back and forth, but it has a little bit
We have here our windowsill.
The windowsill is the place where we can put seasonal things or just some decorations if
And the window, here we have the inner window, it has some kind of maybe more old fashioned,
1920s style panels here.
But, we also have inside our window another feature, so let's get a little closer and
take a look.
Most windows in the U.S. have a screen and that's on the other side of this main window,
just to prevent mosquitoes and bugs coming in in the summer time.
But because it's winter, we also have another pane, a windowpane that's down.
It's the storm window.
So here, you're only seeing the regular windowpane, but on the other side, we have a second layer
that's called a storm window.
And you could out it down in case of a storm, but typically, it's used in the wintertime,
usually for older houses because older houses have two layers of window.
They don't have maybe some modern technology for the window structure.
So we have a screen, a storm window, and just this regular window inside.
Before we leave this room, I just want to quickly talk about the basics of a room.
We have, of course, the walls and the ceiling.
But here, we have hardwood floors.
We don't have any carpet in our house and that's mainly because it's an older apartment,
so it has wood.
But also because we have two cats and a baby, so it's a little bit difficult to clean carpet.
But, most American houses will have carpets usually in the bedrooms or if they have an
upstairs area in the upstairs.
But some will have it, as well, in the main room or in the living room.
I think it's kind of becoming a more modern thing to have hardwood floors, kind of going
back to that classic style.
So you might see that, you might have that in your house if you live in the U.S., but
carpets and rugs, rugs are just removable small carpets.
Rugs and carpets are pretty typical, but we just have hardwood floors.
This is not laminate.
In the kitchen, you saw laminate.
Laminate is just kind of like a plastic flooring, it's typically in kitchens because it's easy
But here, we have real wood, hardwood floors.
Welcome to our office, drum room, spare bedroom, a little bit of everything and another dying
And oh, we have Dan.
Dan is working on editing a vocabulary video for the Fearless Fluency Club, if you'd like
to learn with us, you can learn with us every month.
But in this room, we have the office desk.
We have the desktop computer, we have laptops and whatnot as well, but the desktop is great
for editing videos and having a big screen.
So he's sitting in an office chair and he is using some of the office equipment.
How's it going?
Dan: It's going well.
Are you getting some inspiration from the fish?
Dan: Obviously, in their huge ball of algae over here.
Welcome to our bathroom.
We have only one bathroom in our apartment.
A lot of American houses have at least two, but our apartment is a good size for one bathroom.
Typically, in the U.S. we say bathroom, in the UK you're gonna hear people say toilet.
But, in the U.S. we do not say toilet unless we're talking about the physical object, the
So in the U.S., when you say toilet, you feel a little bit dirty maybe because you're imagining
the throne, that chair that you sit on.
So it's a little bit weird in the U.S. if you say, "I'm going to go to the toilet."
We can imagine that piece of furniture.
So, it's a little bit better to say, "I'm going to the bathroom."
We use the term restroom to talk about a public place.
Some people might even say bathroom for a public place.
So maybe in a restaurant or maybe in a gas station, or if you're driving on a road trip,
there might be a rest stop and you go to the restroom inside the rest stop.
Those are the most typical expressions that you're gonna hear in the U.S., bathroom and
But I would not say, "This is the restroom."
If I said restroom at a friends house, "I'm gonna go to the restroom," it's quite formal
and it seems a little bit weird like I'm trying to be too formal, when really, I'm just going
to the bathroom and it's my friends house.
So I recommend using restroom only for maybe work places situations or for public places
like restaurants or gas stations where you're going the bathroom.
It's gonna be a little bit tricky to film in here 'cause the bathroom's long and narrow,
but we're gonna make it work.
So here we have the shower.
And we know it's a shower because we have a shower curtain.
But in the U.S. you'll typically find two shower curtains.
On the outside there's on that has usually a nice, pretty color on it.
And then on the inside, you'll see a shower curtain liner.
And this is, I'll try to show you here, this is on the inside of the bathtub.
And that's to prevent water from spilling out.
I know I visited some other countries that don't have shower curtains at all, and I found
it quite difficult to take a shower without getting the whole bathroom wet.
So in the U.S. it's convenient.
We've got a shower curtain and we have a shower curtain rod up here.
You can see to hold the shower curtain.
Inside the shower, we have a bathtub.
And you can take a bath in here, but most people don't take a bath.
Usually just kids take a bath.
It's kind of small, it's not so comfortable, and it's not really part of American culture
for adults to take a bath.
You might see in some movies maybe a woman in the bathtub with a glass of wine and there's
some candles, this is not typical at all.
That hardly ever happens and we just don't really soak in the bath.
Some people find it dirty to sit in the bath water because maybe we don't clean the bathtubs
as often as countries who take baths.
Here, we have, also, a shower rack.
You can see it's hanging on the shower head.
The shower head is where the water comes out.
We have the shower head, the shower rack, and up here we have our shampoo and conditioner
and soap and whatnot.
But we have the shower rack.
Moving on in the bathroom, we have a little table here with some toiletries on the table.
There's some lotions or contacts or toothpaste.
These are things that you use to get ready in the morning or to get ready for bed, they're
We have a soap dispenser and we have the sink and a facet.
And it's pretty typical that you'll see an outlet as well in the bathroom.
I know some countries don't have outlets in the bathroom.
It can be kind of dangerous to have an outlet in the bathroom, so of course, just don't
out your hairdryer in the sink.
Little word of wisdom.
And it wouldn't be a bathroom without a toilet.
So we have the toilet, we have toilet paper, and we have the handle for flushing the toilet.
As well as usually two separate lids on the toilet.
I know some countries don't have two separate lids, it's kind of an all in one combo, but
in the U.S., we have two separate lids and usually a brush, a toilet brush for cleaning
And a plunger in case you need it.
And don't forget, some more dying plants just to round out your full experience of our house.
Oh, I don't wanna forget, as well, we have these hand towels.
This hand towel is for drying your hands after you wash your hands.
And a wash cloth.
This is for washing your face.
Oftentimes, a hand towel will have a little ring and it will be inside that ring, but
we don't have that so we just hang it over the shower curtain rod.
Welcome to my bedroom.
The lighting is a little bit different in here because we have some extreme blackout
shades and blackout curtains so that we can sleep and so that our baby can sleep, especially
when he takes a nap during the day.
So you can see here on the window, we have some black shades and also some black curtains
that is essential and it has helped our lives so much.
All right, let me show you around.
Of course, the main feature of a bedroom is the bed.
Here's our bed and we have a quilt on our bed.
This is something that Dan's great grandmother made, but you'll often simply see sheets in
the summer time or maybe a thin blanket.
But in the winter, you'll see a comforter.
This is a thick, fuller type of blanket.
In Europe, a lot of people use a duvet, but in the U.S., I had actually never heard of
a duvet until I went to Europe.
So it's not so common in the U.S., maybe I'm just like in a little isolated bubble of people
who don't have duvets.
So if you're in the U.S. let me know if you have a duvet.
But typically, you'll see a quilt of a comforter, or just some sheets.
You'll see over here is my baby's crib.
A lot of people in the U.S. who have a child, they have a separate room for their child.
But, our apartment is small so we make do with what we have.
And he sleeps here in his crib.
On this side, there is a nightstand.
I have a nightstand as well over on this side.
The nightstand is the table that goes beside your bed.
And typically there's a lamp on the nightstand, maybe there's a drawer or a shelf and you
can put some books or something in that nightstand that you use when you're sleeping.
This is our set of drawers.
You might hear people say dresser drawers.
This, I feel like is a little bit older English, like maybe my parents of my grandparents might
say dresser drawers.
But for me, I just say a set of drawers or it's in the drawer.
This is a difficult word to pronounce, so I hope that you can say it clearly.
Inside our closet you'll see some clothes that are hanging up.
We hang up the clothes in the closet or you can say they're hanging in the closet.
And they're hanging on what?
They're hanging on hangers.
A lot of words that have to do with hang that have to do with the closet.
So the clothes are hanging up in the closet.
Some people also fold their clothes up here, maybe some winter clothes or some pants that
you don't wanna hang up.
One quick thing that I'd like to mention that we don't have put often typical American houses
will, especially standalone houses, apartments sometimes have this, sometimes don't, but
a lot of houses have a master bath.
Or you can say master bathroom.
And that's a bathroom that's connected to the biggest bedroom.
So typically, if you have a household of parents and two children, the parents bedroom is the
biggest bedroom and attached to the parents bedroom is the master bath.
In the house that I grew up in, my parents had this, Dan's parents had this as well.
But in our apartment, we only have the one bathroom that I showed you.
So we don't have a master bath.
It's just the bathroom of the house.
So you might see this, and if you're in someone's house or if you're describing a house, or
maybe you're buying a house or renting on in the U.S., you might hear that term mentioned,
"There's a master bath," or, "There's a master bathroom."
Both of those terms are the same thing, it's just a shortened version of bathroom.
Thanks so much for joining me in this rather long vocabulary video.
I hope that it helped to refresh some words that you've learned in the past and helped
to add to your vocabulary so that you can go around your house and name and label some
things that you have in your house that you see every day.
It will help to reinforce those words.
I wanna ask you a question.
What is something that I didn't mention in this video that you have in your house?
Let me know in the comments.
What's an item in your house that I didn't mention in this video.
It can help to expand your vocabulary.
I recommend reading other comments so that you can see things from other peoples houses
that I didn't mention here.
Just keep growing your vocabulary every day.
Thank you so much for learning English with me, and I'll see you again next Friday for
a new lesson here on my YouTube channel.
The next step is to download my free E-Book.
Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English Speaker.
You'll learn what you need to do to speak confidently and fluently.
Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons.
Thanks so much, bye.