We all link “home” with a place of comfort, warmth, and security. It’s no wonder people say, “My home is my castle.” In English, there are several idioms related to home, and I invite you to familiarize yourself with the most common ones.

   Home is where the heart is

This is an age-old expression conveying that the place you hold the deepest affection for will always be your home, regardless of your physical location.

For example:

– Ultimately, David chose to return to Israel. Home is where the heart is.
– I firmly believe that home is where the heart is. Do you share that sentiment?

     The lights are on, but nobody’s home

This is a sarcastic phrase in American English implying that someone lacks intelligence. It’s often used to describe individuals who may be pleasant but are not perceived as very smart.

For example:

– Amanda is a lovely girl, but she’s not very bright. The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
– Gary’s girlfriend isn’t very intelligent. The lights are on, but nobody’s home.

     Close to home

A remark or joke that hits close to home makes you feel embarrassed or upset because it closely relates to your personal problems. It can also refer to something that directly involves someone.

For example:

– When Jackson made fun of Bill’s way of speaking, he hit close to home.
– This problem is particularly close to home for many parents.

     Home free

The last idiom in our list means that someone has completed the most challenging or difficult part of something, and the remaining tasks will be relatively easy; the end is in sight.

For example:

– Once you leave the main road and cross the bridge, you’re home free – we live just a mile down the street.
– The refugees fled from the war zone. Once they reached the river, they were home free.


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  Make yourself at home

This is one of the most popular idioms in English related to home, and it means “please feel as comfortable in my home as you do in your own.”

For example:

– Hi, Jill! Come in, make yourself at home. Would you like something to drink?
– They just came and made themselves at home. It was a little rude, I think.

     Coming home to roost

This idiom in English means that past bad actions or mistakes lead to unpleasant consequences in the present. Another similar expression is “you will reap what you sow.”

For example:

– Ann broke her mother’s favorite vase. She knew the chickens would come home to roost when her mother found out about that.
– We asked John not to do that, but he wouldn’t listen. The chickens would come home to roost when Mary noticed the mess.

     Home truth

This idiom in the English language means “the bitter truth.” It refers to undeniable, often unpleasant facts that one may not want to admit or acknowledge.

For example:

– After growing tired of Paul’s constant complaining, Jana decided to tell him a few home truths about his bad attitude.
– We held a team meeting, and a few home truths were spelled out.


The fourth idiom on our list means “to miss home; to feel sad and alone because you are away from home.”

For example:

– I have never experienced homesickness. I love to travel.
– She went away for three weeks but felt terribly homesick.

     It’s nothing to write home about

This idiom means “it is nothing special; it is so-so.”

Look at the examples:

– The dinner was okay, but it was not noteworthy.
– How’s your weekend? – It’s nothing special.

That’s all for today. To reinforce your understanding of these idioms related to home, try creating your own sentences incorporating them.

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.