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American Homes(1)

   The majority of Americans live in or near large cities, but small living-town is still widespread. A suburb (a small community near a big city) offers the advantages of safer, more intimate small-town life with the recreational and cultural activities of the big city nearby. For the typical American family, home may be at different place every five or six years. Most moves relate to new job opportunities, but sometimes the American pioneering spirit and desire for adventure inspire the move.
   About two-thirds of Americans live in homes or apartments that they own. But many people rent their living quarters. Some high-rise apartments are very expensive and elegant, but many are built for moderate or even law-income families. Many apartment buildings are condominiums or cooperative apartments, which means that each family owns the unit it lives in.
   More than 10 million Americans live in mobile homes, living quarters built on wheels. They can be moved, but are generally brought to a site that becomes more or less permanent. Then the wheels are removed and the home is attached to the ground. Because they cost less than conventional homes, mobile homes are especially popular with young couples and retired couples with a limited incomes.
   1. Where do the majority of Americans live?
   2. What is a "suburb"?
   3. Do many people rent their living quarters?
   4. What can you tell about mobile homes?
   5. Why are mobile houses so popular with young couples?
   majority — большинство
   suburb —пригород
   to inspire — вдохновлять
   living quarter — жилая площадь
   mobile house — подвижный дом
   permanent — постоянный
   income — доход

American Homes(2)

   American homes are some of the biggest and best in the world. Many have a garage for one or two cars, a big modern kitchen, a living room, and a playroom for the children.
   Upstairs there are two bathrooms and three or foor bedrooms. Young Johnny sleeps in one room. His sister, Sally, has another. Their parents sleep in the third bedroom. There is another room for visitors.
   Some families have two homes. They have one house or apartment in the city or suburbs. They live and work there. But they have another home near the sea or in the mountains. They go to their second home on weekends and for vacations. Seventy percent of Americans buy the house they live in. They are lucky. But thirty percent cannot buy a house or an apartment. Some of them rent their home from a landlord. Some landlords are good, but some are not. Windows break, or roofs get old, and the landlord does not always help.
   The poorest people live in "public housing" apartments. These apartments are not like rich American homes. People do not like to live in public housing projects. They are afraid of thieves and drug sellers.
   Americans who live in towns and cities move often. A family stays in one house for four or five years, and then they move again. Some people move because they have found a new job. Other people move because they want a bigger or a smaller home. In American suburbs, families come and go all the time.
   Americans are always trying to make their homes better. They take a lot of time to buy furniture and make their homes beautiful. They buy books and magazines about houses and furniture. They work hard on their homes in the evenings and on weekends.
   Americans like to think the United States is a young country, but really it has a long and interesting history. You can see some of its history in the styles of the houses. The lovely pueblo houses of Native American villages, the old pioneer log cabins, the plantation houses in the South, the beautiful colonial homes of the Northeast — they are all a part of American history. They are part of modem America too, because people copy the old styles in new houses. The history lives on.
   1. What do American homes look like?
   2. How many homes do some families have?
   3. Do Americans like to rent their homes?
   4. Where do the poorest people live? Do they like to live there? What are they afraid of?
   5. Americans who live in towns and cities move often, don't they? Why do they move often?
   6. Can you see some of American history in the styles of the houses?
   to move — переезжать
   suburbs — пригород
   pueblo — поселок индейцев
   thieve — вор