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We know that one may not carry anything on Shabbos outside of a private domain (rishut hayachid). A person's house is considered a private domain. My question is: how far outside of the house is considered still part of the private domain?

I have seen many people carry things (like seforim, etc.) to outside patios to use them outside on Shabbos. Is this truly an acceptable practice? How far outside of the house must someone walk to no longer be considered within the house's private domain? Does it matter if it is in the back of the house--away from the street--or in the front of the house? Does it matter if the house has an overhang that the person is sitting beneath? If something is sitting on the end of one's driveway, may he bring it up the driveway on Shabbos as long as it was within his personal property before he picked it up?

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Why is a house a private domain? – Double AA Jun 4 '13 at 18:14
Also, one can carry less than 4 amot in a public domain, and as far as he wants in a makom petur. – Double AA Jun 4 '13 at 18:16

One can only carry in a reshut haychid. The definition is:

A reshut hayachid is defined as an area that is enclosed by walls (mechitzahs) that are at least ten tefachim (plural of tefach) high and encompass an area that is at least four tefachim by four tefachim1. Alternatively, a pit that is ten tefachim deep or an elevated area that is ten tefachim high would also be considered a reshut hayachid. According to Torah law, if the mechitzahs only enclose an area on three sides the area is still classified as a reshut hayachid2, although each of the three sides must be at least half made up of solid walls (omed merubeh al haparutz)3. However, the Rabbis enacted that until the area is entirely enclosed it is classified as a karmelit and one would be unable to carry into it from a reshut hayachid on Shabbat.

So all depends on whether the object outside the house was enclosed in your reshut hayachid. The link gives a good background on the concept of eiruv.

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Source for your first sentence?? – Double AA Jun 4 '13 at 18:19

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