In this lesson, we are focusing on vocabulary used to describe families – the relationships between people, the structure and type of family and more.
Take a look at the list below. How many words do you know? We will soon be adding vocabulary exercises to these pages, but for now, we hope the lists help!
- Siblings – brothers or sisters
- Immediate family – generally considered to be siblings, parents and children. However, some people also include grandparents in this list
- Extended family – people with a connection to you within the family tree (aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews etc).
Types of family
- A nuclear family – a couple and their children (considered to be the ‘average’ family structure). Statistically, a ‘nuclear family’ can currently has one mother, one father and 2.2 children – the average family unit)
- A matriarchal family – (can also be used to describe a society) – where the mother/female is considered to be the most important person
- A patriarchal family (can also be used to describe a society) – where the father/male is considered to be the most important person
- Single parent family – where the child/children has only a mother or father
- Same-sex parents – these are parents who are either both male (gay) or female (lesbian).
Connecting families and people
- Genealogy – studying the family history back into the past, often by hundreds and even thousands of years, to see where someone’s bloodline originally came from
- Family tree – a diagram that represents all the members of a family
- Lineage – the sequence of people before you (father > grandfather > great grandfather and so on).