to be (at) home

  • greenheyes

    Senior Member
    British English (Cheshire)
    As an answer to Where are you? I´d say I´m at home.
    I´m home is what I´d say when I walk into the house at night: "I´m back home from work". I think there is a difference of usage and context.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Panjandrum, I'm curious - in which context would be "I'm at home" or "I'm home" ridiculous?
    Could you kindly provide an example?
    Thanks :)
    Greenheyes has given one such context.
    Don't you think it would be completely ridiculous if I were to arrive home in the evening and shout to the various members of my family, wherever they were, "I'm at home".

    Don't you think it would be at least faintly ridiculous, or perhaps just a bit incoherent, if my wife phoned me from work, asked "Where are you?" and I replied "I'm home."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    [...]the 2nd not so much.
    Hmm why is the 2nd ridiculous/incoherent?
    I agree with you about the second example - hence my "at least faintly" and "just a little bit" :)
    I think the difficulty with "I'm home," is that its only natural use is when someone arrives at home, opens the door and shouts to anyone who might be there "I'm home". Saying it in any other context just seems inappropriate.
     

    budt

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I can't help disagreeing with the comments that at home and home are often identical.

    The general distinction is surely that at home simply indicates that you are in your house/flat/apartment, whereas home is usually used to indicate that you are in your house/flat/apartment but that the person to whom you are speaking (on the telephone, for example) knew or thought it possible that you had recently been away from your home and was not sure or was not aware that you had returned there.

    This also covers the situation that greenheyes indicated, when one returns from work.
     
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