Members of the Family
When you have children, you are a parent.
If you are a male parent, you are a father.
If you are female parent, you are a mother.
If one of your children is a boy, he is your son.
If one of your children is a girl, she is your daughter.
When a couple gets married, the man is the husband, and the woman is his wife.
A brother and sister both have the same parents.
One collective word to describe brothers and sisters is siblings. However this word is normally only used in written English, not orally.
|Great-great grandfather||Great-great grandmother|
|Great grandfather||Great grandmother|
|Great grandson||Great granddaughter|
|Great-great grandson||Great-great granddaughter|
Relatives and Extended Family
grandparents: the parents of your parents
grandfather: the father of your father/mother
grandmother: the mother of your father/mother
grandchildren: the children of your children
grandson: the son of one of your children
granddaughter:the daughter of one of your children
great grandfather: the father of your grandfather/grandmother
great grandmother: the mother of your grandfather/grandmother
uncle: the brother (or brother-in-law) of your mother/father
aunt: the sister (or sister-in-law)of your mother/father
cousin: the child of your aunt/uncle
nephew: the male child of your brother/sister
niece: the female child of your brother/sister
The in-laws are the members of the family of your spouse (the person you are married to) or via a marriage in your family:
father-in-law: the father of your spouse
mother-in-law: the mother of your spouse
son-in-law: the husband of your daughter
daughter-in-law: the wife of your son
brother-in-law: the husband of your sister
sister-in-law: the wife of your brother
Note: To refer to more than one brother-in-law or sister-in-law etc. we has an S to the brother/sister part.
e.g. My brothers-in-law are fun. My sisters-in-laws are crazy.
The Family Mix
Nowadays in many countries a person can get married more than once. These are the terms used to describe the "new" members of the family when someone gets remarried.
"Step-" means that you are related as a result of one parent marrying again
stepfather: the (new) husband of your mother but not your biological father
stepmother: the (new) wife of your father but not your biological mother
stepson: the son of your (new) husband / wife (he is not your biological son)
stepdaughter: the daughter of your (new) husband / wife (she is not your biological daughter)
stepsister: the daughter of your stepmother or stepfather
stepbrother: the son of your stepmother or stepfather
Sometimes one of your parents gets married again and they have more children. There
half-brother: the brother you have only one parent in common with .
half-sister: the sister you only have one parent in common with.
Even if your parent didn't get married (and had the child outside of marriage), they are still your half-brother or half-sister.
However, note that it is common to still call your half-brother or half-sister just your brother or sister (without adding the half- part).
Check out this chart comparing the relationships between different members of the family:
Try our interactive game about members of the family in English
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