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What's the difference between townhouses, and country house? what's the difference between country,downtown, village, town And the last question is why "in" only goes at the first sentence: I live in a mansion - I live on a ranch

  • I think the first question can be answered using a dictionary. Did you try any? – Cardinal Aug 24 '16 at 17:51
  • Yes, I did..even I have a dictionary in my cellphone but I didn't get yet...but just looking at the words I think the first one is located in the town ( ciudad) and the second one in the country ( campo, interior)... – MADY Aug 24 '16 at 17:58
  • Please one question per posting. On the last one, a mansion is enclosed, a ranch is not (open air, ground below and sky above). – user3169 Aug 24 '16 at 20:00
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These terms are often very particular to countries and to eras of time. Imagine being a reader absorbed in a Jane Austin novel, or a Sherlock Holmes Story, or a Raymond Chandler detective adventure. Further, being a reader who is familiar with the terminologies of the relevant times and places. Then a simple one or two word phrase such as "country house" or "cottage" paints a picture not only of the building itself but also the surroundings and the (at least for British readers of British stories) the social class of the people living there.

For example: Jane Austen novel, early 1800s, Country House: residence of a wealthy or aristocratic family (Mr Darcy), large house, many rooms, extensive grounds, lake (for Mr Darcy to emerge from), butler, cooks, maids, servants. See Wikipedia. Such a family may well also have a Town House for use when they return to London.

That concept of Town House, would be less common in a more modern setting where it may well simply imply a small-footprint terraced house in an urban setting (be it town or city) - land is expensive so keep area small, build up.

To understand the set of implications of even simple words such as cottage, brownstone, mock-tudor semi, condo, or almshouse requires quite extensive background knowledge. My general approach is to look up in a dictionary to get a feel for the idea and then keep reading, often additional description comes later.

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townhouse

here
(source: wisegeek.com)


country house

here http://www.hotel-r.net/im/hotel/us/country-house-24.jpg

It is possible to have townhouses in the country, usually in a village in the country.

The distinction between

city
town
village
hamlet

are determined by the number of people living there.

You can live

in a townhouse
in a country house
in a ranch house
in an apartment
in a good neighbourhood
in poverty

and you can live

on a ranch
on a coastline
on a mountain
on a boat
on welfare

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