The members of our family are an important part of our daily life and our communication since we are constantly talking about them, talking to them or mentioning them.
As proof of this, the first words of our parents’ language that we learn are “mom” or “dad”, and it is scientifically proven that a baby’s first words help him to develop knowledge, and to identify situations, impressions, sensations, and realities that allow them to build the meanings of thought since childhood.
Continuing with the theme of Spanish family members, we consider the knowledge of the vocabulary to identify members of a family to be important and essential in learning a new language, the same way as learning numbers, colors, or greetings.
This is why we want to teach you how to say each member of the family in Spanish so that you can learn them, differentiate them and you can reinforce the practice of this language starting from the basics, something that many students forget to do.
What are the family members in Spanish?
Regardless of which country or continent you are in, almost everyone enjoys having the same family members, which are the product of the formation of social relationships that leave offspring, which in turn grow, meet other people, interrelate, and leave descendants again, thus forming a family tree. That being said, the extended family in Spanish is this:
- Mother – Madre (Female person who has had a child)
- Father – Padre (Male person who has had a child)
- Son – Hijo (Male person, who is a descendant of a father and mother, or one of the two)
- Daughter – Hija (Female person, who is a descendant of a father and mother, or one of the two)
- Brother – Hermano (Male person, relative of another person with whom he shares the same parents)
- Sister – Hermana (Female person, relative of another person with whom you share the same parents)
- Grandfather – Abuelo (Person of the male sex, who is the father of the father or mother of a person)
- Grandmother – Abuela (Female person, who is the mother of a person’s father or mother)
- Uncle – Tío (Person of the male sex, who is the brother of the father or mother of a person)
- Aunt – Tía (Female person, who is the sister of the father or mother of a person)
- Cousin – Primo (Person of the male sex, who is the son of the brother or sister of the father or mother of a person)
- Cousin – Prima (Female person, who is the daughter of the brother or sister of the father or mother of a person)
- Grandson – Nieto (Person of the male sex, who is the son of the son or daughter of a person)
- Granddaughter – Nieta (Female person, who is the daughter of a person’s son or daughter)
- Nephew – Sobrino (Male person, who is the son of a person’s brother or sister)
- Niece – Sobrina (Female person, who is the daughter of a person’s brother or sister)
Gender and Number Agreement with Family Members in Spanish
|Family member||Masculine singular||Feminine singular||Masculine plural||Feminine plural|
|Mamá||La mamá||Las mamás|
|Papá||El papá||Los papás|
|Hermana||La hermana||Las hermanas|
|Hermano||El hermano||Los hermanos|
|Abuela||La abuela||Las abuelas|
|Abuelo||El abuelo||Los abuelos|
|Tía||La tía||Las tías|
|Tío||El tío||Los tíos|
|Prima||La prima||Las primas|
|Primo||El primo||Los primos|
DID YOU KNOW…?
The basis of Western culture and the family on this side of the world is found in monogamy, that is, the union of two people who leave offspring repeating for generations. However, still, in many countries, especially some within the oriental culture, polygamy is legally or politically practiced, which consists of the union of a man with many women, being the official husband of all of them.
How to say mother and father in Spanish
Mother and father are our immediate family. We will start with the most familiar words: mother and father. This family vocabulary is made up of different ways to express each of these terms.
How to say mother in Spanish
- Madre (Mother): This word is often used when referring to someone’s mother in the third person. We can also refer to our mother in this way directly, but it sounds very formal and is practically not used.
Example: Mi madre me ha pedido que compre pan. – My mother has asked me to buy bread.
- Mamá (Mom): This is the word most used by children, young people, and adults and is the one usually used by anyone who talks about their mother in the third person or speaks to her directly.
Example: Hola mamá, ya llegué. – Hello mom, I’ve arrived.
- Mami (Mommy): This word is usually used mainly by children to refer to their mothers, although according to the Spanish-speaking country, many people continue to call their mothers this way even when they are older.
Example: Voy a decirle a mi mami. – I’m going to tell my mommy.
How to say father in Spanish
- Padre (Father): This word is mainly used to talk about someone’s father in the third person. As with the word “mother”, also use it to talk to our father directly, but it sounds very formal and is hardly used.
Example: No quiero que mi padre lo sepa. – I don’t want my father to know it.
- Papá (Dad): Children, adolescents, or any person usually say this word to talk about their father in the third person or directly with him.
Example: Cuando mi papá me vio, casi muero de miedo. – When my dad saw me, I almost died of fright.
- Papi (Daddy): As with Mami, it is mainly children or adolescents who use it, although there are also cases of adults who use it.
Example: Daddy, you are the best! – Daddy, you are the best!
How to call family members in the plural
|Cousins *||Primos / Primas|
** Words used to refer to a male people group as a female people group.
How to call grandparents in Spanish
Grandparents are other important members of the family due to the closeness they have with their grandchildren in addition to the fact that there are generally two grandfathers and two grandmothers for each nuclear family, the father’s parents, and the mother’s parents.
The translation of the masculine and feminine words is as follows:
- Abuelo (Grandfather): It is the main way in which a grandfather is mentioned in most Spanish-speaking countries. On many occasions, an older man is also called “grandfather” to try to call him old.
Example: Mi abuelo estuvo en el ejército. – My grandfather was in the army.
- Abuela (Grandmother): This is the exact translation of “grandmother” in Spanish. As with “grandfather”, this word is also used for unknown older people.
Example: ¿Cuántos años tienes, abuela? – How old are you, grandmother?
In other cases, the words “grandma” and “grandpa” could be translated as “abue” in Spanish, as short for abuela/abuelo.
DID YOU KNOW…?
July 26th is the International Day of Grandparents in many Latin American countries. And in some countries it is considered ideal to give them a serenata, that is, a surprise of musicians dressed as mariachis and singing classic congratulatory songs to loved ones.
How to call the couple in Spanish?
A couple is part of family relationships, and, according to the point of view of the protagonists, can be seen as a member of the family (if the relationship has not been officially consolidated).
But it will definitely become a family once they get married, so this relationship becomes a prosperous home where most of the time it will be made up of children, grandchildren, and many more family members in Spanish.
In Spanish-speaking countries, there are different ways of referring to the couple, and this also depends on whether it is a man or a woman. Next, you will know what are the ways to call a couple in Spanish.
How to mention the female partner in Spanish
The word “girlfriend” is the least official of the official words to refer to a romantic relationship or it is used to refer to the woman who is about to marry.
- Le pediré matrimonio a mi novia. – I will propose to my girlfriend.
This word is good to talk about your relationship without mentioning if it is your girlfriend, wife, friend or romantic partner, etc.
- Mi pareja y yo iremos al baile hoy. – My partner and I will go to the dance today.
It is hardly used, and when it is used it is usually accompanied by the word “sentimental” (sentimental).
- Tengo que esperar a mi compañera sentimental. – I have to wait for my significant other.
Mainly used to mention the woman you proposed to and have wedding plans with.
- Estoy feliz de que seas mi prometida. – I am happy that you are my fiancée.
It is the most used word to refer to the couple you married.
- Mi esposa está muy enojada. – My wife is very angry.
It’s an official way of calling your wife.
- Voy a donde mi mujer. – I go to where my wife is.
It is also a word to refer to your wife, although it is also used to refer to a woman after having children.
- No puedo hacerlo sin la autorización de mi señora. – I can’t do it without my lady’s permission.
How to mention the male partner in Spanish
It has the same meaning as novia but with a masculine character.
- Le haré una sorpresa a mi novio. – I’ll make a surprise for my boyfriend.
This word is used to refer to a man or a woman.
- Ese hombre es mi pareja. – That man is my couple.
It has the same meaning as “compañera” but with a masculine character.
- Yo me mudé con mi compañero sentimental. – I moved in with my significant other.
The same meaning as the feminine word, but it is to refer to a man engaged in marriage.
- El prometido de Sara viene el Jueves. – Sara’s fiancé is coming on Thursday.
The same meaning as esposa but for the masculine character.
- Le he dicho a mi esposo que estoy embarazada. – I have told my husband that I am pregnant.
Another term to call the man to whom a woman is married.
- Yo los declaro marido y mujer. – I pronounce you husband and wife.
This word is rarely used in comparison to señora but in the proper context, it can mean the same thing.
- Estoy esperando a mi señor. – I’m waiting for my husband.
How to call those from mixed families
Families that mix, and whose members are not of the same blood, also have ways of calling themselves. As in English, Spanish, and any language, it is necessary to name people who in theory are not our relatives but in practice end up being.
These are the ways to call stepfamily members in Spanish.
|Padrastro||Stepfather||Hija adoptiva / Hijastra||Stepdaughter|
|Madrastra||Stepmother||Tíos adoptivo||Step Uncle|
|Hermanastro / medio hermano||Stepbrother / half brother||Tía adoptiva||Step Aunt|
|Hermanastra / media hermana||Stepsister/half-sister||Hijos adoptivos||Stepchildren|
|Abuelo adoptivo||Step grandfather||Padrastros||Step parents|
|Abuela adoptiva||Step grandmother||Abuelos adoptivos||Step grandparents|
|Hijo adoptivo / Hijastro||Stepson||Hermanastros||Step siblings|
DID YOU KNOW…?
Although divorce is not as common in Latin America as it is in other parts of the world, there can be intrafamily problems that lead to dysfunctional environments, prompting adults to establish new sentimental relationships with other divorced people, and forming new family unions between them and their children.
How to call children in Spanish
Children, as you already know, make up a vital part of the family, and in Spanish-speaking countries, there are different ways of mentioning them, also depending on age or gender. Below is a list of ways to call your children in Spanish:
- Hijos (Children) – It is the basic way of mentioning children in the plural.
- Hijo (Son)
- Hija (Daughter)
- Hijos (Sons) – Depending on the context, “children” only refers to the male children of the family.
- Hijas (Daughters) – Form in which daughters are called in the plural.
- Bebé (Baby) – Children are called that when they are newborns or at this stage.
- Primogénito (Firstborn) – He is the first child in a family.
How to call in-laws of the family in Spanish
In addition to the in-laws, other people make up a family. The following is more family vocabulary about a small list to keep them all in mind:
- Cuñado (Brother-in-law) – He is the brother of your husband or wife or the husband of your sister.
- Cuñada (Sister-in-law) – She is the sister of your husband or wife or the wife of your brother.
- Tío político (Uncle-in-law) – He is your aunt’s husband.
- Tía política (Aunt-in-law) – She is your uncle’s wife.
- Sobrino político (Nephew-in-law) – He is the nephew of your husband or wife.
- Sobrina política (Niece-in-law) – She is the niece of your husband or wife.
- Suegra (Mother-in-law)
- Suegro (Father-in-law)
- Yerno (Son-in-law)
- Nuera (Daughter-in-law)
- Concuñado (Brothers-in-law) – He is the brother of the husband or wife of a person’s brother or sister, or is the husband of the sister of a person’s husband or wife.
- Concuñada (Sisters-in-law) – She is the sister of the husband or wife of a person’s brother or sister, or is the wife of the brother of a person’s husband or wife.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Surely you have confused yourself with the words concuñado and concuñada, so here we will give you a simple illustration so that you understand it much more easily:
Family members in Spanish Slang
As if that were not enough, there are many ways to call family members in Spanish slang:
|Country||Colloquial Spanish word||Spanish word||English|
|España||yayo / yaya||abuelo / abuela||grandfather/grandmother|
|Mexico||amá / apá||mamá / papá||mom/dad|
|Mexico||jefa / jefe *||mamá / papá||mom/dad|
|Colombia||nono / nona||abuelo / abuela||grandfather/grandmother|
|Argentina||vieja / viejo *||mamá / papá||mom/dad|
** Words that normally have another meaning but are used in the way mentioned in the table depending on the context.
These have been the Spanish family members, and you have known all the ways to call each of the family members, from the nuclear family to the adopted or in-laws who are also part of a home.
It’s a good idea to always review this lesson from time to time so you’re able to handle the topic correctly in conversations in Spanish.
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