Sunday, December 1, 2013

Family words and idioms

A family is a group of people related to each other by blood or marriage. There are several types of family:
  • The nuclear family consists of only the parents and their children.
  • The extended family is formed by parents, children, uncles and aunts, grandparents, etc.
  • In a one-parent or single-parent family there is only one parent living with the chidren, either because they are divorced or because they have decided to raise their children single-handedly.
Young Family Having Fun In Parkextended-familysingle parent
Nuclear familyExtended familysingle-parent family

Let's see the most common family words in English in the following presentation:

Other words related to the family:
  • A relative is someone who belongs to your family. Relatives can either be close or distant: She inherited the money from a distant relative she had never met. 
  • Relation is another way to say "relative", especially in spoken English. A blood relation is someone who is related to you by birth, not by marriage. 
  • Your next of kin is your closest relative: My brother is listed as my next of kin on all my emergency forms.
  • Kinsman is an old-fashioned word to say "relative", but also, by extension, a person of the same nationality or ethnic group: She may marry her late husband's brother or some other kinsman of his.
  • Ancestors or forefathers (notice that you cannot say foreparents) are the people from whom you are descended.
  • Descendants are the relatives of a person or group of people who are born many years after them: He claims to be a direct descendant of Napoleon.
  • Folks (usually plural) is an informal word meaning your family, especially your parents: I'll go home this Christmas to see my folks.
There are many idioms related to the family. Let's see a few of them in the following presentation:

You can see more family idioms in the BBC World Service page.
That's all folks!


  1. A few years ago I have become a follower of this blog.
    for all that it brings for learn this difficult but beautiful language.

    I must to say thanks to this blog, cause I have improved my level and I surprised myself that I can write this message without help of online translator
    Of course i made a lot of mistakes, and that's is why I decided to do a intensive course in london or dublin ...

    I even not sure which is the best destination to learn english in 3 months intensive courses.
    Surely many readers of this blog, have gone through this experience before and can give me some advice


    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment. Knowing that my blog helps other people encourages me to go on working on it.
      I am sure that you will be able to find good intensive courses in London, Dublin or any other major city in the British Isles. When I was a student, I did one in Bournemouth on the south coast of of England.
      I wish you all the best! Good luck!


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