In the following sentence:

Yosemite National Park recently posted video of this bear climbing a tree near ranger housing.

I understand that housing here is a collective for quarters serving as accommodation to rangers during their shifts.

Would it saying "... climbing a tree near ranger houses" mean the same thing? Or would it carry any additional meaning (for instance would it imply they are the primary and permanent residence of the rangers, where they live with their families maybe, instead of being just their workplace?).

Or maybe are there any requirements for one to call them houses? For instance, if they lack a kitchen or living room found in common houses where people live then they can't be considered houses?

Another question: would "ranger dwellings" fit in this sentence as well?


  • 1
    Housing is not necessarily houses, it could be apartments or even tents. "Ranger housing" is a noun phrase, like "chicken soup". The important thing about the cited sentence, is that a bear was seen near to where rangers live. It's not about how rangers live, such as if they have a shared bathroom or kitchen (although that might be of interest to the bear). Apr 16, 2020 at 22:37
  • One problem is that we don't know what you mean by "housing".
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 16, 2020 at 22:58
  • @WeatherVane So ranger housing has a broader meaning than ranger houses (because the latter physically describes the housing)? And regarding to dwellings, is it a perfect synonym to housing in this case? Apr 17, 2020 at 0:02
  • The term "dwelling" is more usually used by architects, planners, lawyers etc. Apr 17, 2020 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


This usage of the word housing refers exactly as you said in the question; the place where the rangers are domiciled while working as a ranger. The do not own the propertie(s) instead they use them in the previously mentioned capacity. If you changed the word to houses would imply that these houses are owned by the rangers, while ranger housing would imply the buildings are owned by a third party (the government or company that manages the area).

To answer the second question, ranger dwellings could fit as well, but the distinction may or may not apply.

  • Thanks! Could you give an example of when the distinction would not apply? Apr 17, 2020 at 0:12
  • 1
    What I mean is that dwelling can be used to mean somewhere a person lives, this may be their house, apartment, tent, etc... Which means that the distinction doesn't exist for dwelling where it does for housing and house. So, the distinction may or may not apply, because dwelling can refer to either or house or housing. Apr 17, 2020 at 0:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.