Although you may know the English names for many members of your family (for example, brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter, husband, wife etc...) you may not know (or have forgotten) the names in English for other members of your family. This isn't good in situations where you need to talk about your family to somebody or are listening to somebody tell you about theirs.

To help you either learn or remember them, I have created two exercises on the names of family members in English. In this first part, you will learn the names of the most commonly forgotten family member names by people learning English.

In the second part, you will learn some more advanced English vocabulary used for saying who a person in your family is and what your relationship to them is.

Click here to see more online exercises on social English vocabulary


Exercise:

In the below text Peter is showing his friend Sally photos of his family and telling her who the people are.

Decide from the context what the meaning of the family member names in bold are and then do the quiz at the end to both make sure you are correct and to remember them.

Peter:'So, let me show you some photos of my family.'

Sally:'Perfect. I'd to see some photos of you when you were young.'

Peter:'Here you are. This is a photo when I was 4 with my mum and dad at Christmas.'

Sally:'Those are your parents! Both your father and mother look very different now.'

Peter:'Yes, they do. And this is a photo when we were on holiday in France when I was 10.'

Sally:'Who is the man stood next to your father?'

Peter:'That's my uncle Simon. My father's brother. And the woman next to him, is my aunt Joan, my uncle's wife.'

Sally:'And the children in front of them. Who are they?'

Peter:'They are my cousins. My aunt and uncle's children. That's my cousin John and that's my cousin Mary.'

Sally:'And the old man and woman at the back. Are they your grandparents?'

Peter:'Yes they are. My father's parents. The man is my grandfather and the woman is my grandmother.'

Sally:'How many grandchildren do your grandparents have?'

Peter:'Well, there's me, my sister Sarah and my cousins John and Mary. So, they have 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons.'

Sally:'So, who is the other old man in the photo. Is that your other grandfather?'

Peter:'No. My other grandparents (my mother's parent) aren't in the photo. The old man in the photo is my great-uncle Tom. He's my grandfather's brother.'

Sally:'Ok. This is a more modern photo. That's your sister with her husband and their children, isn't it?'

Peter:'That's right. The boy on the left is my nephew Christopher and the girl next to him is my niece Anna.'

Sally:'Who is woman at the back of the photo?'

Peter:'My aunt Tina.'

Sally:'And the man next to her.'

Peter:'Her partner Jonathan.'

Sally:'Partner?'

Peter:'Partner is a way to say that a person is in a romantic relationship with another person. So, instead of calling person a husband or a wife of another person, you can call them their partner.'



Quiz:

Below is a definition/description of each of the family member names in bold from the above text. Now choose the family member name from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one of these names once. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.


1. The father of your mother or father, is called your
         

Grandfather:
(noun) Instead of 'grandfather', you can also call the person 'grandad'. The mother of your mother or father is called your 'grandmother'.

A common way to say 'grandfather and grandmother' in English, is 'grandparents'. So, instead of saying 'this is my grandfather and grandmother', you can say 'these are my grandparents'.

Close

Grandfather:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

2. The sister of your father or mother, is called your
         

Aunt:
(noun) Is also called an 'aunty'. This is a member of your family who is either your father or mother's sister or is married to a brother of your father or mother (who is called your 'uncle')

If you use 'aunt' and 'uncle' together in the same sentence, you have to say 'aunt and uncle', not 'uncle and aunt'.

For example:

'I'd like to introduce you to my aunt and uncle.'

Close

Aunt:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

3. A different way to say your 'mother and father', is
         

Parents:
(noun) This means both your 'mother' and your 'father'. So instead of saying 'this is my mother and father', in English it is common to say 'these are my parents'.

Close

Parents:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

4. The daughters of your parents, are your grandparents'
         

Granddaughters:
(noun) This is the name used by grandparents to call the daughters of their children. If their children have a son, then they call the boy their 'grandson'.

Instead of using either 'granddaugther' or 'grandson', they can also call them (no matter if it's a boy/man or girl/woman) their 'grandchild' (if it's one) or 'grandchildren' (if it's more than one).

Close

Granddaughters:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

5. The daughter of your brother or sister, is called your
         

Niece:
(noun) This is the name used in English to call your brother or sister's daughter. If your brother or sister has a son, then he is called your 'nephew'.

Close

Niece:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

6. The name used to call a person who is in a romantic relationship with somebody you know, is
         

Partner:
(noun) In this context, 'partner' is used to say that a person is connected to somebody because they are in a romantic relationship. Normally you only use the word 'partner' if the relationship is serious and has lasted more than 6 months.

Although you can use 'partner' for people who are married, it is more common to say 'husband', 'wife' or 'spouse' (for either) instead. The word 'partner' is more commonly used for relationships where the couple is not married.

For example:

'I'd like to introduce to my partner, Ruth.'

Close

Partner:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

7. The son of your brother or sister, is called your
         

Nephew:
(noun) This is name used in English to call your brother or sister's son. If your brother or sister has a daughter, then she is called your 'niece'.

Close

Nephew:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

8. The brother of your father or mother, is called your
         

Uncle:
(noun) This is a member of your family who is either your father or mother's brother or is married to a sister of your father or mother (who is called your 'aunt')

If you use 'aunt' and 'uncle' together in the same sentence, you have to say 'aunt and uncle', not 'uncle and aunt'.

For example:

'I'd like to introduce you to my aunt and uncle.'

Close

Uncle:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

9. The mother of your mother or father, is called your
         

Grandmother:
(noun) In English, there are many different ways (synonyms) of calling a person your 'grandmother'. You may hear people use 'granny', 'grandma' or 'nana' instead of saying 'grandmother'.

For example:

'This is my grandma.'

The father of your mother or father is called your 'grandfather'.

A common way to say 'grandfather and grandmother' in English, is 'grandparents'. So, instead of saying 'this is my grandfather and grandmother', you can say 'these are my grandparents'.

Close

Grandmother:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

10. The sons or daughters of your aunt and uncle, are called your
         

Cousins:
(noun) This is the name you would use to call the son or daughter of your father or mother's brothers or sisters. The word 'cousin' can be used for either a boy/man or a girl/woman. If you want to say what their sex/gender is, you need to add 'male' (for a boy/man) or 'female' (for a girl/woman) in front of 'cousin'.

For example:

'I have two male cousins and three female cousins.'

Close

Cousins:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

11. The brother of your grandfather or grandmother, is called your
         

Great-uncle:
(noun) This is a member of your family who is either your grandfather or grandmother's brother or is married to a sister of your grandfather or grandmother.

The name you would use to call either the sister of your grandfather or grandmother or the woman who is married to the brother of your grandfather or grandmother, is 'great-aunt'.

The word 'great' can also be added to 'grandmother' or 'grandfather'. This is used to say that somebody is the mother or father of your grandparents.

For example:

'The man in the photo is my great-grandfather.'

Close

Great-uncle:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close




Now do the second part of this exercise to learn more advanced family member names in English.




Practice

Now that you understand this family name vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences in English with the names.

Blair English online classes