When you ask someone if your buddy Ken is at home or not, what is the correct question, "Is Ken home?" or "Is Ken at home?"?

I'm pretty sure both of those are correct, since I've seen a lot of times when this question was asked without "at" in it. Though, it seems the second choice is more correct in terms of grammar. Maybe the rules are different for British and American English.


1 Answer 1


"Is Ken home?" is used when person B is inside of the home and asking a question to Ken, who may or may not be home. This question is asked when person B would like to validate if Ken is at home or not.

"Is Ken at home?" is used when (maybe a third person) who is the recipent to person B's question; person B is generally not at home and is asking if Ken is currently at home.

  • 4
    There is an element of truth in this, but it’s a gross oversimplification. If one knocks on the door of Ken’s house and someone else answers, one can certainly ask ‘Is Ken home?’ in order to ascertain whether he’s currently at home. The question is also possible when one encounters a member of Ken’s household away from home. Aug 28, 2011 at 21:00
  • Brian: I didn't think of that, whoops. :p
    – alexyorke
    Aug 29, 2011 at 0:58
  • 2
    I would add that "Is Ken Home?" is common US usage whereas "Is Ken at home?" would be more British usage. I don't think there is a semantic difference, unless "at home" is being used in the sense of feeling comfortable.
    – Joel Brown
    Aug 29, 2011 at 1:42

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