A young black American soldier leaves his home and family to cross the ocean to put an end to the German nightmare.

I have just translated this sentence into English and I would like to know if in this context it is necessary to write the word "family" also, or if I can just write "the soldier leaves his home to cross etc." is understandable too, or even make a difference by writing "he leaves his house and family".

  • 2
    If your idea is to emphasize the departure, in my opinion, you can use both.
    – Misti
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 17:04
  • 2
    Home can include more than family, such as community etc
    – user6951
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 17:17
  • 3
    They are not the same. Someone may have a home without having a family. just as there are families who don't have homes. It's perfectly possible (though unlikely for a young soldier) for someone to leave home and take their family with them. Using "home and family" here emphasizes how much he's leaving behind.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 17:53
  • @jamesqf Young can be ambiguous enough that I think it's a stretch to say it's unlikely a young soldier will take his family with him. My younger sister was born in a foreign country when our family was deployed there, and my father was a young soldier at the time. I don't disagree with you that home and family is being used for emphasis though.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 18:15
  • @ColleenV - Family in this context could mean spouse and children, or it could mean parents, siblings, and other extended family. Soldiers like your father may be accompanied by their wife and children, yet still leave family behind.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


A young black American soldier leaves his home and family to cross the ocean to put an end to the German nightmare.

Using home and family in this sentence adds extra weight to the soldier's sacrifice/decision. It is stating he is leaving both a place he is familiar with (his home) as well as the people he cares about/people who care about him (his family). It highlights that he is uprooting himself both physically as well as socially.

In regards home vs family:

Home and family can have emotional connotations:

Home = A place that you live / have lived (probably long-term) that you have an emotional connection to.

Family = (Mostly) permanent group of people (usually blood-related or by marriage) with whom you have a emotional connection.

Home can mean simply the place that you live. It can also mean a special place that you live/ have lived. Many people feel at home, regardless of the actual location, when they are with their family. Thus, they may consider, their 'true' home, their family.

For example, a person who moves to a different city for a new job would live permanently in that new city. The house in that city that they live in would be their new 'home'. However, if that person felt a strong tie to their parent's house, for example, they may still consider their parent's house their 'home' despite no longer actually living there.

Less emotionally-charged phrasing for 'home' could be: 'his residence/house/apartment' and as an alternative for family: 'his relatives'.


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