Talking About Family Members in Spanish

Do you know how to say the most common family members in Spanish? There are so many relatives and we could simply write a long list with all of them, but making list of words is not how you learn a language. Instead, this lesson will teach you the ones you will use the most in real situations, and more importantly, the grammar structures and verbs needed to make meaningful sentences with family members. “¡Comencemos!”

Common family members in Spanish and how to describe them
Los miembros de la familia en español

Introductory video: Common Family members in Spanish

Let’s begin by watching a video showing a list of family members in Spanish and how they should be written and pronounced. This video teaches words such as Mamá (mom) and Abuelito (grandpa) and explains some key things about the verbs SER (to be) and TENER (to have) and the right way to use them to describe family members, which is the central topic of our next lesson. Try to stick until the end of the video as it will definitely help you understand all the examples presented in the rest of the lesson.

Talking about family members in Spanish

Family relationships in Spanish and jobs

First, in order to talk about family relationships in Spanish, we will use possessive adjectives. They are words like MI (my) and SU (your) that can be used as in “Mi mamá”(my mother). The possessive adjective to use must agree in number and gender with the family member. For instance, to talk about “my brother” I should say “Mi hermano”, but if I mean to say “my brothers” then I should use MIS instead of MI as in “Mis hermanos”. As you can see, possessive adjectives are really important to talk about relationships between family members in Spanish.

The way to call some family members in Spanish

Some family members can be called in two ways such as “Mamá”/”Madre” and “Papá”/”Padre”. “Mamá” and “Papá” are way more casual. Notice that these two words need tilde in the last vowel, else they will mean something else. The word “PADRES”, which is also the plural form of father in Spanish, will be used meaning “parents”. Also, there is a cute way to call grandparents by adding the suffix -ITO at the end as in “Abuelito” (grandpa) and “Abuelita”(grandma). This termination can also be added to “Mamá” and “Papá” to say “Mamita” and “Papito”.

The vocabulary for family members in Spanish through a family tree

How to describe family members in Spanish and say what they do

The easiest way to describe things and even family members in Spanish is by using the irregular verb SER. Basically, SER can be used as ES for one person, e.g. “Mi papá es…” (My dad is…) and SON for several relatives as in “Mis tíos son…” (My uncles are…). After the verb SER, we need to place an adjective such as  “trabajador” (hard-working) or “amable” (kind), or even job titles and occupations like “Ingeniero” (Engineer). Moreover, you can use adverbs like “MUY” (very) to make adjectives stronger.

The chart below contains sentences with a list of common family members in Spanish. Here, you will see both possessive adjectives to express family relationships and SER + Spanish adjectives to describe relatives the easy way. Click on Play to listen to the sentences.

How to form sentences using SER and adjectives to describe family members
Su esposo es ingeniero
Her husband is an engineer
Mi esposa es ama de casa
My wife is a housewife
Sus padres son estrictos
Her/His/Their parents are strict
Madre (formal)/Mamá(informal) – Mi mamá es muy inteligente
My mom is very intelligent
Padre (formal)/ Papá(informal) – Su papá es muy práctico
His/Her father is very practical
Nuestra hija es linda
Our daughter is beautiful
Nuestro hijo es creativo
Our son is creative
Su hermano es doctor
Her/His brother is a doctor
Su hermana es enfermera
Her sister is a nurse
Nuestros abuelos están casados
Our grandparents are married
Abuelo / abuelito – Mi abuelo es un anciano my enérgico.
Grandpather/grandpa – My grandfather is an energetic old man
Abuela / abuelita – Mi abuela es muy cariñosa
Grandmother/grandma – My grandmother is very affectionate
Sus nietos son traviesos
Her grandchildren are naughty
Su nieto es apenas un bebe
His grandchildren is still a baby
Mi nieta es muy bonita
My granddauther is very beautiful
Mis tíos son muy divertidos.
My uncles and aunts are very fun
Hijos/Niños – Los hijos de María son adorables
Maria’s children are adorable
Nuestra madrastra es buena.
Our step-mother is good
Mi padrastro es muy amable.
My step-father is very kind
Mi suegra es muy enojada
My mother in law is angry

Introducing family members in Spanish

Sometimes you will also need to introduce a relative in Spanish. To do so, you can use this sentence structure:

Relative + SE LLAMA + Name as in “Mi mamá se llama Teresa

You can also refer to someone else’s relatives by using SER and possessive adjectives to state the relationship as in SU HIJA (her daughter) . Here are some examples of sentences introducing family members in Spanish

Mi tía se llama Ana
My aunt’s name is Ana
Su suegro se llama Juan
My father-in-law’s name is Juan
Ella es mi cuñada
She is my sister-in-law
Él es nuestro cuñado
He is our brother-in-law
Él es su yerno
He is her son-in-law
Ella es su nuera
She is her daugther-in-law

Sharing information about your relatives in Spanish

In addition to describing your relatives and introducing them to other people, you can also share information about them such as the place where they live, their age, how many children they have and so on. Below there is a last group of sentences with family members in Spanish sharing personal information. Make sure to practice with the quiz at the end of the lesson once you check all the examples. We hope you find the examples provided in the lesson very useful. ¡Hasta pronto!

El bebé de Ana está saludable
Ana’s baby is healthy
Mi tío vive en California
My uncle lives in California
Ella tiene muchos sobrinos
She has many nephews
Mi sobrina tiene 10 años.
My niece is 10 years old
Yo tengo cinco primos.
I have five cousins
Mi prima es de Argentina
My cousin (girl) is from Argentina
Su primo es de Alemania
His cousin (boy) is from Germany

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