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大门一般开在东南角或西北角,院中的北房是正房,比其他房屋的规模大,一般包括长辈的卧室和具备日常起居、接待客人等功能的客厅。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 14.

What is the meaning of 房屋 here: 比其他房屋的规模大?

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  • 1
    I'm not sure what kind of answer you're after here; 房屋 = "house / building" can be found in dictionaries.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Aug 2 at 10:09
  • I know, but it looks like, here it means something different, like room. That is why I am asking. Aug 2 at 12:13
  • You may be interested to know that 添房 does not mean "Extra / Additional Room(s)", but the gifts from relatives and friends of the bride's family. Aug 2 at 13:48

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"院中的北房是正房" -

The ancient Chinese house of the rich usually consisted of three or four housing units, that form an upside-down "U" or "口", with a courtyard in the center and the main entrance at the south end. The surrounding housing units were then named according to their azimuth (方位) in the setting - "東廂房", "西廂房", and "上房/正房".

After the end of imperial China, people started to address those grand houses as "大院 (big court)". So the sentence - "(大)院中的北房是正房" means the north sitting housing unit (北房) is the "main housing unit (正房), and, as usual, it is larger than the other housing units (比其他房屋的规模大). In here, "其他房屋" means 東廂房(east housing unit) and 西廂房(west housing unit) collectively.

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