Every culture has its values. When it comes to Spanish, familia (family) 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.
For example, suppose you decided to strike up a conversation with the sweet old lady working at the flower shop in Barcelona. You try your best to say good morning in Spanish, and after a bit of small talk, the topic of family pops up. How do you respond? What questions do you ask her in return? So many questions!
Luckily, this article is built to help you do exactly that by introducing you to the names of different family members in Spanish, and even teaching you a few handy phrases to use.
Different Family Members in Spanish
Before you can answer and ask questions about la familia (The family), you would first need to know what to call different family members. Just like how you would call your mom, well, mom.
Different members of the family are divided up into four categories:
- Immediate Family
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.
|Dad or Daddy||el papá|
|Mom or Mommy||la mamá|
|Children (Girls & Boys)||los hijos|
|Siblings (Girls & Boys)||los hermanos|
2. Extended Family
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!
|aunt(s) and uncle(s)||los tios|
|cousin (female)||la prima|
|cousin (male)||el primo|
|cousins (male and female)||los primos|
Just so the concept between immediate and extended family is clear, here is a family tree:
3. Mixed family
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:
|stepbrothers and sisters||los hermanastros|
|half-sister||la media hermana|
|half-brother||el medio hermano|
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:
|mother and father-in-law||los suegros|
Useful Phrases: family members in Spanish
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!
- What’s your family like?
“¿Como es tu familia?”
- “How is your family?”
“¿Cómo está tu familia?“
- Do you have any siblings?
- How many sisters do you have?/How many brothers do you have?
“¿Cuantas hermanas tienes?”/ ”¿Cuántos hermanos tiene usted?”
- Do you have nephews or nieces?
“¿Tienes sobrinos o sobrinas?”
You were invited to your Spanish friend’s family gathering, be prepared when they introduce you to their family:
- She is my mom/He is my dad
“Ella es mi madre.”/”El es mi padre.”
- She is my sister/He is my brother
“Ella es mi hermana.”/”El es mi hermano.”
- These are my cousins
“Ellas/Ellos son mis primas/primos.”
- They are my grandparents
“Ellas/Ellos son mis abuelos.”
- “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:
- I have cousins
- My family is doing well
“Mi familia esta bien.”
- I have a big family/I have a small family
“Tengu una gran familia.”/ “Tengu una familia pequeña.”
- I’m adopted.
- I love my family.
“Quiero a mi familiar.”
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.