A Real Estate Agent Sells Land and Buildings

A real estate agent is a person or a company which sells property.

Have you ever worked in the retail estate industry?

Tell us about it in the comments section below like this:

I used to sell real estate in Sydney and Perth.

I was a real estate agent before I retired. I worked in Florida.


In this sense “property” refers to “land and buildings”. It also has another meaning.

Property means possessions.

Property can mean “possessions, things, anything that you own”.

Do you have a lost property box?

Real Estate

When a real estate agent talks about “property”, the word generally refers to “houses, apartments and land”. It does not refer to clothes, furniture and personal effects.

Insurance Company

If you talk to an insurance company about property, they refer to:

house and contents

You can insure your house and its contents (furniture etc) against fire or theft.
Link to audio of a conversation about furniture.


Do you have an insurance policy?

Types of insurance

Fire insurance
Accident insurance
Health insurance
Life insurance


The word “land” refers to a piece of earth but when we talk about it we use various words to describe it. Each situation requires a different word.

If we are buying or selling land or farming “land” then the most common noun is, of course “land”.

Do you own a piece of land?

A Block of Land

Sometimes we say

a piece of land

and some times we say:

a block of land

Land is measured in acres or square metres or hectares:

I bought a hundred acres of farmland ten years ago.

It depends on the country.

How is land measured in your country?

Other Meanings of “land”

The plane came in to land.

The plane took off at midnight and landed in Bangkok the following morning.

John Travolta is an actor and a pilot so, of course, he knows how to land a plane.

Look at these two:

He landed the plane. (transitive verb)
The plane landed. (intransitive verb)


The word “property” emphasises the fact that land is “owned” by somebody. Real estate agents talk about “land” or property”. As mentioned above, “property” can also refer to “possessions”.

Look at these phrases:

This is private property. We are not allowed to enter.

Get off my property!


The word “ground” has a more physical sense than land. It is the thing which we stand on.


He has his head up in the clouds.

He has his feet firmly on the ground.

The first one refers to an unrealistic person.

The second one refers to a realistic person.

He is down-to earth.

The third one is similar to the second one. Note that the idea of ground is related to reality and the idea of clouds is related to being unrealistic.

Standing on the Ground

Listen to the lyrics in this song:

I got a peaceful easy feeling
and I know you won’t let me down
’cause I am already standing on the ground.

Other Meanings of “ground”

If a teenage girl misbehaves or generally acts in a rude and arrogant way, her parents might prevent her from going out to see her friends.

You are grounded!

You are grounded for the next two week-ends!


Of course this is a metaphor. The original sense of “grounding” comes from aircraft.

All of the aircraft in Florida are grounded as a result of the hurricane.

The air traffic controller announced that all flights were grounded.


The word”Earth” refers to our planet, our home.

Do you know the names of the planets in English?

Draw a diagram of the solar system and mark the names of the planets as they go around the sun. It will help your vocabulary.

Do you know the order of the planets going out from the sun?

The first one is Mercury.

“Earth” also refers to “a piece of earth”.

at markwhite


When we are in the garden we get our hands dirty by touching the earth. We dig holes in the earth and we plant seeds then we cover the seeds over with “earth” or “dirt” or “soil”.

Do you have garden?
Have you ever had a garden?
Is its a flower garden or a vegetable garden?
Which vegetables do you grow?

Tell us about it in the comments section below.


In the construction industry, large machines called “earth-movers” move earth and dig holes and trenches so that builders can lay foundations.


The word “soil” can refer to “the earth in the garden” when it is a noun. Look at these common collocations:

garden soil
red soil
black soil
sandy soil
good soil
poor soil

But when we use “soil” as a verb it means “to make dirty” or “be dirty”.

These clothes are soiled. We will have to wash them.

It is quite a formal word. We might use it in a business situation:

This garment is soiled.

It is more common in informal conversation to say:

This shirt is dirty.


The word “dirt” has a wide variety of meanings.

In informal English you can say:

I want to buy a bit of dirt that I can call my own.

which means

I would like to buy a piece of land for myself.

Generally it refers to “soil in the garden”:

Plant the seeds and then cover them over with dirt.

However the adjective “dirty” shows how we can use dirt/soil/earth to refer to the fact that something is not clean.

His hands are dirty.
He has dirt on his hands.

There is dirt on your shoes.
Your shoes are dirty.

He is tracking dirt all over my clean floor.
He is making my floor dirty.

Wet dirt is “mud”.

His shoes are muddy.
He is walking mud all over my clean floor!

Pornography is Dirty

We also use the word “dirty” to refer to sexual topics like pornography.

“Dirty pictures” are graphic sexy pictures.

A “dirty magazine” is a magazine with explicit sexual content.

He likes to talk dirty.


He likes to talk about sex in a suggestive and graphic way.

He has a dirty mind


He thinks about sex a lot.


He thinks about sex all the time.

Do you have a dirty mind?

Like to other meanings of mind

Prudishness and Sexuality

I some situations it is a social taboo to talk freely about sex so we avoid the topic because it is “dirty”. Of course it is not dirty as sex is a natural function, but we refer to it as “dirty” or “disgusting” if we are “ old-fashioned” or “prudish” because that is how it was regarded in the past. Attitudes to have sexuality have changed a lot.

Links to More Lessons


The Real Estate Page

Land and Buildings

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