A1 Level. Talking About Your Family in Spanish

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Who are the members of your family, how many are there, and what do they do? These are among the first questions you may be asked when you meet and first become acquainted with a native Spanish speaker. Depending on your age, you may be asked about your parents and what they do for a living, or you may be asked if you are married or have any children. Learn the words to describe your family members, then bring a photo along, and even if you're a beginner and know only simple grammar, you'll be able to engage in conversation.

Vocabulary of the Family

Let's start with the vocabulary of the family. Following are the names for the most common relatives and some of the uncommon ones:

Padre: father

Madre: mother

Hermano: brother

Hermana: sister

Suegro: father-in-law

Suegra: mother-in-law

Cuñado: brother-in-law

Cuñada: sister-in-law

Esposo, marido: husband

Esposa, mujer: wife

Abuelo: grandfather

Abuela: grandmother

Hijo: son

Hija: daughter

tatarabuelo: great great grandfather tatarabuela: great great grandmother bisabuelo: great grandfather bisabuela: great grandmother abuelos: grandparents abuelo: grandfather abuela: grandmother nietos: grandchildren nieto: grandson nieta: granddaughter bisnieto: great grandson bisnieta: great granddaughter

tío: uncle tía: aunt primos: cousins primo: cousin (male) prima: cousin (female) sobrino: nephew sobrina: niece

Hijastra: stepdaughter

Hermanastro: stepbrother

Hermanastra: stepsister

Medio hermano, hermano de padre, hermano de madre: half brother

Media hermana, hermana de padre, hermana de madre: half sister

Concuñado: husband of one's spouse's sister

Concuñada: wife of one's spouse's brother

Consuegro: father-in-law of one's son or daughter

Consuegra: mother-in-law of one's son or daughter

Prometido, novio: fiance, boyfriend, groom

Prometida, novia: fiancée, girlfriend, bride

Compañero: male partner in a couple relationship

Compañera: female partner in a couple relationship

Padrino: godfather

Madrina: godmother

Ahijado: godson

Ahijada: goddaughter

Amigo: friend (male)

Amiga: friend (female)

Nieto: grandson

Nieta: granddaughter

Bisnieto: great-grandson

Bisnieta: great-granddaughter

Tataranieto: great-great-grandsonTataranieta: great-great-granddaughterTío: uncleTía: auntTío abuelo: great-uncleTía abuela: great-auntPrimo: cousin (male)

Prima: cousin (female)

Primo carnal, prima carnal, primo hermano, prima hermana: first cousin

Primo segundo, prima segunda: second cousin

Sobrino: nephew

Sobrina: niece

Padrastro: stepfather

Madrastra: stepmother

Hijastro: stepson

Children will often call their father papá and their mother mamá. When saying or writing these words in Spanish, remember to put the accent on the final syllable or you will be saying another word.

In Spain is very common to say madre and padre. The generic name for parents in Spanish is padres. Don't use Parientes which means relatives.

The generic name for brothers and sisters in Spanish is hermanos. You don't need to say hermanos y hermanas as we do in English because the word hermanos includes them both.

Sample Sentences Referring to Family Members

As you have probably noticed, in Spanish we use verb TENER to say how old we are:

¿Cuántos años tienes? (How old you are?)

Tengo 45 años. (I am 45 years old.)

We also use verb ESTAR to talk about marital status:

Estoy casado/casada. (I am married.)

Estás soltero/soltera. (You are single.)

Está divorcidado/divorciada. (He/she is divorced.)

When talking about family it is also important to know how to use the possessive adjectives.

Mi hermano se llama Juan.

¿Está casada tu hermana?

Su madre tiene 72 años.

Now it is time to practice everything you have learned with our quizzes. Remember to contact your tutor with any questions you have. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

Listening Activity No. 1: "The family in Spanish"

In this video by Ricardo you will learn the family vocabulary. Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented above plus a few new ones. Press PLAY when you are ready.

Listening and Quiz Activity No. 2: "Una familia española"

To see how to describe your family in Spanish you need to see this vocabulary in context, you can do it with the video with subtitles below.

Response True (T) or False (F)

1. _____ Los hijos de Paco y María son los primos de Eva.

2. _____ El padre de Eva no tiene hermanos.


1. Pepe y Manolita son los __________ (hermanos, abuelos, tíos )de Eva.

2. Paco y Pilar son los _____________ (hermanos, abuelos, tíos) de Eva.

3. Paco _______ (tiene, tenemos, tienen) 52 años.

4 Pilar _________ (tiene, está, es) soltera.

Listening and Quiz Activity No. 3: "La familia"

María espera a

___ un chico ___ una chica ___ una amiga ___ un amigo

¿Cómo es la abuela de María?

___ Es muy elegante.

___ Es un poco gorda.

___ Es muy baja.

___ Es simpática.

¿Cómo está María en la foto?

___ Está muy delgada.

___ Está muy gorda.

___ Está muy guapa.

¿Cómo es María ahora?

___ Es muy delgada.

___ Es muy gorda.

___ Es muy inteligente.

___ Es muy elegante.

___ Es muy guapa.

¿Cómo es Paula, la hermana de María?

___ Es guapa.

___ Es amable.

___ Es divertida.

___ Es alta.

___ Es sexy.

Free Student Handout Activity No. 4: Test yourself

Free handout for you to practice. Click the purple button below to DOWNLOAD the free handout. Add your name and email and we’ll send it to you! Remember you can contact your tutor with any question have. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet? Please, leave a message if you want we prepare more activities about this topic. Thanks for helping us to improve.

Learn Spanish with our awesome teachers.

¡Hasta la vista!

The Español Latino Team

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