¡Hola! We have already covered a list of family members in a previous lesson and discussed a little about how to describe them using SER plus adjectives. There, we introduced most of the vocabulary needed to talk about LA FAMILIA. In this lesson, we will go a little deeper on this topic so that you learn the basics to describe your family in Spanish by using the verb SER and some common adjectives through some nice family descriptions and interactive quizzes. Let’s start…
Introductory video: The family in Spanish – La familia
Let’s start by watching a short video to review the vocabulary for family members in Spanish. Pay attention to the vocabulary presented in the video, as well as some of the grammar rules that will be applied in the descriptions later. Remember that you can activate the subtitles if you need them.
Gender and plural of family members in Spanish
The gender and plural of nouns in Spanish
In order to describe your family in Spanish, first it’s necessary to understand that family members are common nouns, that is, they undergo changes of gender and number. As for grammatical gender, words that end in the letter -A such as “Mamá, Nieta, Hija” and “Abuela” are considered feminine nouns, whereas those that end in -O such as “Abuelo, Nieto, Hijo” and “Tío” are masculine nouns. Basically, if we make a simple change at the end of the word, we will have two words with different meanings. Interestingly, the word “papá” is an exception, and it is considered a masculine noun even though it ends in -A. The word “Papá” has the same meaning as “Padre”, but is a bit more informal than its counterpart.
As for their plural or singular forms, family members are common nouns, so they will change from singular to plural and vice versa. Generally, their plural form is created by adding -S or -ES to the nouns. You simply have to add -S when the noun ends in a vowel, such as NIETA → NIETAS, and -ES when it ends in a consonant.
Creating family relations in Spanish
Lastly, we will always use possessive adjectives like MI, TU, SUS, NUESTROS and others along with the vocabulary for family members. These words indicate possession, just like we would use MY, YOURS and so on from the English language, but in this case they show a relationship with another person. To put it differently, to say something like “My family in big”, we would use “Mi familia es grande” with the possessive adjective MI.
Describing your family in Spanish using SER and adjectives
Describing your family in Spanish is really easy as most of the time we will need only three things: a family member, the verb SER and an adjective in Spanish, that is words to describe personality or physical appearance. The subject goes first and then the verb SER, which will change to ES if the word is in singular form like MAMÁ and HERMANO as in “Mi mamá es…” and to SON if the word represents several people like PADRES and ABUELOS as in “Mis padres son..”. Similarly , the adjective will also take a singular form when describing a single person as in: “Mi mamá es amable” and a plural form when describing many people: “Mis abuelos son amables”. Before moving on, solve the exercises on the next grammar quiz.
Examples of family descriptions in Spanish
Mi familia es pequeña. Mi mamá se llama Ana. Ella es enfermera. Mi mamá es muy amable e inteligente. Tengo dos hermanos. Mi hermano se llama Alan. Él es muy alegre. Es alto. Yo soy bajo. Mi hermana es bonita. Mi papá es muy trabajador. Mis abuelos son divertidos y nos quieren mucho. Somos una familia feliz.
Mi familia es grande. Vivo con mis padres. Mi mamá es empresaria y mi papá trabaja en un banco. Tengo dos hermanas, Alicia y Mercedes. También tengo dos hermanos, Javier y Hernán. Todos nos llevamos muy bien. Alicia es la mayor de todos. Ella es inteligente y le gusta leer libros. Mercedes es la menor y le gusta ver televisión. Javier es necio y a veces es travieso. Javier es un buen niño. A Hernán le gustan los deportes y él es muy chistoso. Yo soy alto y creativo. Nosotros visitamos a nuestros tíos y a nuestros primos a veces. En vacaciones vemos a los abuelos. Ellos son estrictos y muy amables.
Listening Activity: Talking about my family in Spanish – Hablando de mi familia
Key expressions in the conversation:
1. “¿Puedes ayudarme con…?” means “Can you help me with…?”
2. “¿De qué se trata la tarea?” means “What is the homework about?”
Listening Quiz: Talking about my family in Spanish
Application: Writing about my family in Spanish
Write a 100-word paragraph “describing your family in Spanish.” You can use the examples in this lesson or parts of the listening activity to get some ideas. Then, read your paragraph to a native speaker to get feedback on your writing, pronunciation, and mastery of the topic. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Related Spanish Worksheets:
- Family Tree in Spanish: PDF Worksheet (Vocabulary)
- Questions about the Family in Spanish: PDF Worksheet (Speaking)
- Making Questions in Spanish – PDF Worksheet (Speaking)
- Family Relationships in Spanish – PDF Worksheet (Reading)
- Writing Physical Descriptions in Spanish – PDF Worksheet (Writing)