Family in Spanish: Expressing Family Vocabulary in Spanish

Family in Spanish / Latin American culture, is one of the most important concepts. It is seen as a symbol of integrity, and safety, that provides warm and fuzzy feelings associated with love. When speaking to Spanish individuals it is important to know how to talk about family, since the topic tends to appear rather commonly.

This article is built to help you learn the the names of different family members in Spanish, and even teach you a few handy phrases to use in your conversational Spanish.


Family in Spanish

In Spanish, “family” is familia (fuh·mi·lee·uh). When explaining about your family, you will most like say “my family” in English, but in Spanish the answer is mi familia

The possessive pronoun in Spanish of mi, is “my” in English. But, “family” varies with the possessive pronoun being used. 

Possessive Pronoun English
Mi familia My family 
Tu familia Your family
Su familia His / Her / Their / Your (polite version) family 
Nuestra familia  Our family 
Source: Tenor

Different Family Members in Spanish

The different members of the family are divided up into four categories:

Immediate Family in Spanish

Immediate family or first-degree relatives. This category is reserved for the smallest family unit, which includes: parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Below you will find some terms that are very important to know.

English  Spanish
Father el padre
Mother la madre
Dad or Daddy el papá
Mom or Mommy la mamá
Parents los padres
Daughter la hija
Son el hijo
Children (Girls & Boys) los hijos
Brother el hermano
Sister la hermana
Siblings (Girls & Boys) los hermanos
Wife la esposa
Husband el esposo


Extended Family in Spanish

Or simply known as second-degree relatives, this category contains grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. This category is almost on the same level as immediate family, so knowing these terms is crucial!

English Spanish
nephew el sobrino
niece la sobrina
aunt la tía
uncle el tío
aunt(s) and uncle(s) los tios
cousin (female) la prima
cousin (male) el primo
cousins (male and female) los primos
grandparents los abuelos
grandfather el abuelo
grandmother la abuela
grandson el nieto
granddaughter la nieta
grandchildren los nietos
relatives los parientes


Just so the concept between immediate and extended family is clear, here is a family tree:

Mixed Family in Spanish

A blended family or step family. For example, if someone adopts you, they are considered your step-parent and you, their step-child. The following terms would be good to know if you— or anyone else you know, have a family in this category:

English Spanish
stepdaughter la hijastra
stepson el hijastro
stepchildren los hijastros
stepbrother el hermanastro
stepsister la hermanastra
stepbrothers and sisters los hermanastros
stepmother la madrastra
stepfather el padrastro
stepparents los padrastros
half-sister la media hermana
half-brother el medio hermano


In – Laws in Spanish

When you get married to your sweetheart, their family is considered your “In-Laws”. Considering that you will probably spend a lot of time with them, learning these phrases might be a good idea. There are a lot of terms, but for now, we will stick to the simple ones:

English Spanish
mother-in-law la suegra
father-in-law el suegro
mother and father-in-law los suegros
sister-in-law la cuñada
brother-in-law el cuñado
son-in-law el yerno
daughter-in-law la nuera

Family in Spanish Grammar Rules

Source: Giphy

Rule #1: Gender & Noun Agreement

Nouns in Spanish, are classified into two: feminine and masculine. The feminine nouns end with “a” (mamá, hermana, tía) while the masculine nouns end with “o” (papá, hermano, tío). 

However, when talking about a collective group, the nouns also change their gender. For family members in Spanish, the collective terms are the plural of the masculine nouns. 

For example, if we are referring to “the sisters”, we can say las hermanas. But, if we are referring to the sisters and the brothers togethere, we say los hermanos.

Rule #2: Grammar Structure

There are many different grammar structures, that can help you make sentences about your family in Spanish, where you can even include adjectives about your family!

1. I have + # + family member  

tengo + # + family member (hermanos / tíos / primos)


Tengo tres hermanos, dos primas, y tres tíos (I have three siblings, two cousins, and three uncles.)

Tengo 2 abuelos y 1 abuela. (I have two grandpa’s and one grandma.)

2. He / She + is + relationship to you 

él / ella + es + relationship to you (mi máma , mi pápa , mi tío)


Él es mi pápa. (He is my father.)

Ella es mi máma. (She is my mother.)

él / ella + es + su + relationship (su máma , su pápa , su tío)


Él es su pápa. (He is her/his/their father.)

Ella es su máma. (She is her/his/their mother.)

él / ella + es + nuestra + relationship (nuestra máma , nuestra pápa , nuestra tío)


Él es nuestro pápa. (He is our father.)

Ella es nuestra máma. (She is our mother.)

3. Looks like someone

parecerse a alguien 


Él se parece a mi pápa. (He looks like my father.)

Ella se parece a mi tía. (She looks like my aunt.)

Source: Giphy

Family in Spanish: Useful Phrases

Now that you understand the basic Spanish familial terms, the next step is to learn some phrases that can be used in conversation:

Don’t be shy, ask about their family members!

1. What’s your family like?

“¿Cómo es tu familia?”

2. “How is your family?”

¿Cómo está tu familia?“

3. Do you have any siblings?

“¿Tienes hermanos?”

4. How many sisters do you have? / How many brothers do you have?

¿Cuántas hermanas tienes?” / ”¿Cuántos hermanos tiene usted?”

5. Do you have nephews or nieces?

¿Tienes sobrinos o sobrinas?”

Source: Giphy

You were invited to your Spanish friend’s family gathering, be prepared when they introduce you to their family:

1. She is my mom / He is my dad

“Ella es mi madre.” / ”El es mi padre.”

2. She is my sister / He is my brother

“Ella es mi hermana.” / ”El es mi hermano.”

3. These are my cousins

“Ellas/Ellos son mis primas/primos.”

4. They are my grandparents

Ellas/Ellos son mis abuelos.”

5. “You have a beautiful family!”

Tienes una hermosa familia!”.

(Complimenting the family will definitely win you some brownie points!)

When describing/talking about your family, try using the following phrases or learning nicknames in Spanish:

1. I have 3 cousins

“Tengo 3 primos.”

2. My family is doing well

“Mi familia esta bien.”

3. I have a big family / I have a small family

“Tengo una gran familia.” /  “Tengo una familia pequeña.”

4. I’m adopted.

“Soy adoptado.”

5. I love my family and miss them.

Quiero mucho a mi familia y los extrańo.”

Source: Tenor

Become familiar with the Spanish language

Whether you want to look good when talking to the Spanish-speaking folks or want to start learning the language— you would find that learning about how to address family in Spanish can be extremely helpful, not to mention it is the best conversation starter!

Learning languages on your own can be a rather tedious task. Consider taking some online Spanish classes at AmazingTalker! With a wide selection of fantastic tutors and classes that suit your schedule, you’ll become a bona fide Spanish speaker in no time.

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