It is important to introduce yourself and your family members in English as basic skills. These introductions are important to develop your vocabulary, phrase knowledge and grammar when you are at a beginner level in English.
When we talk about family, we mean the nuclear family members as well as the extended family member relationships. Since the family concept is highly versatile in different cultures around the world, it is one of the most interactive topics for both students and teachers.
In this article, you can find notes to introduce your family in English as well as important tips and fun activity recommendations for family members and kindred relationships.
Nuclear Family or Extended Family?
Actually, the answer to whether the family definition should be based on nuclear family or extended family is that it involves both. First, you can answer ¨Have you got a big family or a small family?” (or “Do you have a big family or a small family?”) question and then, you can answer “How many sisters have you got?” (or “How many sisters do you have?”) questions to start introducing your family members.
Have you got a small family?
Do you have a small family?
-Yes, I have. I have got a sister and a brother.
-Yes, I do. I have a sister and a brother.
Have you got a big family?
Do you have a big family?
-No, I haven’t. I have only got a sister.
-No, I don’t. I only have a sister.
Have you got any brothers or sisters?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
-No, I haven’t. I am an only child.
-No, I don’t. I am an only child.
Are you married? Have you got a husband or wife?
Are you married? Do you have a husband or wife?
-Yes, I am married. I have got a husband – I have got a wife.
-Yes, I am married. I have a husband – I have a wife.
Giving examples from yourself when introducing your family members in English or starting with questions about nuclear family can be used to start a conversation in daily life. As the second step, it is better to separately express the roles in the elementary family in English.
Who Do Family Members in English Involve?
In terms of family members, it is possible to say that the mother, father and children form the nuclear family. Also, introducing family members in English often starts with introducing sisters and brothers. Then, it is more appropriate to introduce the mother, father, parents, spouse and child/children.
- My mother is Linda; my father is Bob.
- Lisa is married. Her husband is Peter.
- Jack is also married. His wife is Sarah.
- My sister is Lisa; my brother is Jack.
- Sarah’s husband is Jack.
- Peter’s wife is Lisa.
- My parents are Linda and Bob.
One of the tips you can use when you are introducing your family members in English is to introduce the family members in the groups of two. Explaining the relationship between two individuals depending on relativeness of both individuals is the easiest way to settle the vocabulary related to family members. At this point, the second tip is referring to family members and kindred relationship in English by comparing female and male roles. Female and male roles both in nuclear family in English and extended family have two genders compared to a neutral language like Turkish. This enables words to be more permanent on your memory when you are listing family members in English. Also, following a similar method to remember kindredship will bring faster learning.
- Lisa and Peter have got two children. They have got a son and a daughter.
- Mark is their son. Mandy is their daughter.
- Mark is Mandy’s brother. Mandy is Mark’s sister.
Male family member – Female family member:
- Father – Mother
- Brother – Sister
- Husband – Wife
- Son – Daughter
- Grandfather – Grandmother
Is Kindredship in the English Language Is Different Than the Turkish Language?
Various concepts that define family relationships in the English culture are named with a male-female relationship like other languages in the Germanic language family. As in dual relationships above, kindred relationships in English have dual structure. Family members who are described with one concept in the Turkish language can be described with two different words in the English language. “Nephew” and “niece” are an example of that.
Male family member – Female family member:
- Uncle – Aunt
- Nephew – Niece
- Brother – Sister
- Grandson – Granddaughter
As in this case, English might not have the corresponding family member words for the ones in Turkish or any other language. For example, the English language only has “uncle” for both of the brothers of the mother and the father, and has “aunt” for both of the sisters of the mother and father.
- My father’s sister is my aunt.
- My mother’s sister is also my aunt.
Another difference is the name given to the individuals who are included in the family by marriage. These members who can be considered in the extended family structure are defined with “in-law” phrase in English that is based on the connection with legal ways.
- Dick is my wife’s brother. He is my brother-in-law.
- Brenda is my husband’s wife. She is my mother-in-law.
Remember that when you create your family tree in English, these types of cultural properties and comparisons will especially help you sampling the extended family.
How Can You Learn Family Relationships in English with Fun?
“Family relationships and family members” in English is an efficient topic to consolidate different grammar rules as well as different content. When this is the case, it is easy to strengthen family relationships with different techniques when learning with independent learning techniques. If you are adopting self-learning, you can prepare simple sentences and short notes in English to introduce your family and visualize them with a selfie; you can add these notes under your photographs. Or you can use the gamification technique and choose to introduce your family members in English with short videos. In this way, your English presentation skills will also improve.
Another technique is learning with interaction. For this purpose, there are types of activities done by pairs or small study groups. If you prefer learning with interaction, you can prepare puzzles, such as simple sentences and English repetition structures, organize contests and create mental maps. Here are some examples:
- My sister’s son is my _______.
- My nephew’s father is my mother’s ________.
- What is your uncle’s brother’s son to you?
- What is your mother’s brother-in-law to you?
You need to practice with others other than practicing on your own to improve family introduction and your vocabulary in English and to learn them permanently. You can always keep your English knowledge up-to-date with native English speaker tutors on English Ninjas.