Vocabulary to Talk About Your Family

Here are some key words and phrases to talk about your family.

Family size

a big family: if there are five, six or more people in your family
"I'm one of four children, so I'm from a big family."

a small family: if there are only a few people in your family
"Small families are common in the UK."

a close family: when you have a lot of contact with your family and get on well with them
"They're a very close family and like spending time together."

a young family: when the parents have young children
"This holiday resort is ideal for young families."

an only child: when you don't have any brothers or sisters
"She hates being an only child because she doesn't have anyone to play with!"

Family members

a family member / member of the family: someone in your family
"All the members of the family get together for Sunday lunch."

mother / father = parents
(We usually call them "Mum" and "Dad" in British English)

aunt / uncle = the sister or brother of your mother or father
(We usually say "Auntie" or "Uncle")

cousins = the children of your aunt / uncle

grandfather / grandmother = grandparents
(We have lots of names for our grandparents: Grandma / Gran / Granny / Nan / Nana for your grandmother; and Grandpa / Grandad for your grandfather)

son / daughter = male or female child
(Note: the plural of "child" is "children")

brother / sister (who can be older or younger than you)

a twin brother / twin sister = when you are born at the same time as your brother / sister

a pet dog / pet cat (pets are "part of the family"!)

immediate family = close family members
"The wedding ceremony is for immediate family only."

a distant relative = the cousin of a cousin / the cousin of an aunt / the cousin of a parent
"I have a few distant relatives who live in Scotland, but most of my family is in London."

Family relationships

be like = be similar to
"He's very like his father!"

look like = share physical characteristics
"I think you look like your mother."

take after = inherit similar characteristics from your mother / father
"Who do you take after in your family?"

be married / be divorced (to talk about marital status)
"Her sister is married."
"Her parents are divorced."

Also "get married", "get divorced" (to talk about the process)
"Her brother got married last year."
"She wants to get divorced."

live with my family / aunt / grandmother = the people who share your house"
"Do you still live with your parents?"

Other phrases with family

a family holiday = when you go to a place on holiday with your family
"I think this will be our last family holiday."

the royal family = the family of a king / queen
"The British royal family are still popular."

family history = when there's an inherited illness in your family
"There's a family history of diabetes."

have a family = have children
"He's always wanted to have a family."


Listen to the audio of the words and phrases.

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Phrases to talk about your family.pdf
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